An Analysis of Tourism Policy Development in Modern China

Tourism in China has rapidly developed since the adoption of open-door economic reform policy in 1978.

There is still little understanding about the role played by the Chinese government in the development of tourism. This paper represents a “rst attempt to identify the roles played by the Chinese government in developing its international inbound tourism. The period examined is from 1978, a turning point for China’s development, to the present.

Generally, the Chinese government has played the following roles: Operator- involving ownership and provision of the infrastructure for tourism development and operation of tourism business activities; Regulator-formulating and implementing regulations to control tourism business; Investment stimulator- stimulating tourism investment through the provision of “nancial incentives; Promoter- spending money on the promotion of tourism in the international market; Coordinator- coordinating activities of di!erent government departments with respect to tourism; and Educator- establishing a system of tourism education institutions and providing tourism education and training programs.

Analysis of the policies and government roles in China was examined systematically in terms of demands, decisions, outputs and impacts for each of the three historical periods identi”ed, namely 1978, 1985, 1986, 1991 and 1992 to the present. The framework adopted for examining the policies in terms of demands, decisions, etc. represents the speci”c policy issue components of the tourism policymaking process suggested by Hall’s model (1994). Based on China’s experiences, some implications of the governmental roles for other developing countries are suggested.

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Tourism Policy and Planning

Nankai University