Development of an inter-relationship model of the policy-making process and its application in the Chinese mainland tourism context

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Development of an inter-relationship model of the policy-making process and its application in the Chinese mainland tourism context

 

Author: Chong, King
Title: Development of an inter-relationship model of the policy-making process and its application in the Chinese mainland tourism context
Year: 2000
Subject: Tourism -- Government policy -- China
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xxii, 215 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1524926
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4973
Abstract: This study aims to examine the political process of national tourism policy-making in China post 1978 by developing an inter-relationship model of the policy-making process in the context of tourism as a theoretical framework. A descriptive case study and qualitative approach were adopted for this study. This study has involved development of an 'Inter-relationship Model of the Policy-Making Process' (see figure 2) which attempts to develop an understanding of the policy-making process through identifying, describing and examining the mutual linkages between a set of policy factors. Tourism policy is used as an example to illustrate this model. Tourism policy is defined in this study as a set of inter-related decisions (or non-decisions) and actions (or inactions), i.e. tourism policy decisions, formulated and implemented by the government and public authorities to deal with the problems, concerns and opportunities in the tourism industry. Generally speaking, tourism policy is specially intended for the development of tourism. It was found that tourism policy in China was an economic and market-oriented policy, which consists of the policy paradigm, basic tourism policy decisions and specific tourism policy decisions. The tourism policy paradigm, which is an intellectual construct towards the development of tourism held by the tourism policy actors in China, directs the formulation of basic and specific tourism policy decisions. Tourism policy-making in China post 1978 is determined by the interaction and coalescence of the policy factors at the macro, middle and micro-levels. The ultimate reason for the development and change in Chinese tourism policy was the development and change in the two macro-level factors - environment and ideology. It ws found that a new ideology would emerge only if the existing ideology could not explain the change in the environment. A change in ideology was the origin of the change in the tourism policy paradigm, which serves as the mini-ideology to guide tourism policy-making and development of tourism. The new ideology together with the specific conditions in the environment shape the new tourism policy paradigm, which is addressed and manifested by the basic tourism policy. From 1978 to the present, the development and change in the tourism policy paradigm has been significant, continuous and profound. Three historical periods have been identified, which reflect the changes in the tourism policy paradigm: Historical Period One - 1978 to 1985; Historical Period Two - 1986 to 1991; and Historical Period Three - 1992 to the Present. However, the new ideology and new tourism policy paradigm cannot be implemented unless they are institutionalized into the organization, rules and standard operating procedures. So, except for the marketing strategies and product development, institutions building in terms of regulations and standards accounted for the majority of the specific tourism policy decisions. During the process of institutionalization, existing institutions, which embodied the old ideology and old tourism policy paradigm, resisted the new ideology and new tourism policy paradigm, but it finally would change. If there is a conflict of interests, the change in the institutions was slower than when the conflict of interest did not exist. During the process of tourism policy-making, the Chinese tourism policy actors played the role of policy-oriented learning and coordination, which reflected the interaction and coalescence of policy factors. Based on the study of tourism policy-making in China, five propositions on the nature of inter-relationships of the policy factors were developed. They are in the areas of (1) environment and ideology; (2) policy paradigm; (3) linkage between the macro-level, middle-level and micro-level policy factors; (4) ideology and institutions; and (5) institutions and interests. Without exception, this study also has some limitations. The propositions have been developed under conditions of change in the macro-level policy factors, especially ideology. This may only represent one aspect of the nature of inter-relationships. Some policy factors are quite broad and not well operationalized, such as the political environment and tourism environment. Having applied and examined the 'Inter-relationship model of the policy-making process' in the tourism policy-making in China, it is concluded that this model can provide a fuller and more comprehensive understanding of policy-making process.

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