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Role and Responsibility

Video: Role and Responsibility
The second part of my presentation looks at the important topic of the role of government in tourism development. Over the 65 years I have been describing to you, government obviously has had a major impacts on developing tourism. Now there are three possible roles for government. First of all, it is what we called an active involvement. So government decides it wants to develop the tourism industry and it provides investment in infrastructure, sometimes in super superstructure. It builds government’s own hotels, it develops government airlines, for example, And it provides help to the tourism with policy and planning. So active development then is a means which reflects the wish of government to see the sector develop.
Then there is a second type of government support, which we say governments initially might take this active role but then eventually they say no. We’ve now set up the industry. We’ve initiated and we want now to see the private sector taking on the major role in development. And what government then does is what we call creating an enabling environment. It passes legislation and it passes regulations which in fact helps the industry to develop. It might be offering things like investment incentives for domestic and for foreign companies. It might offer employment concessions, training concessions, and things like that. The third role is what we called benign neglect, which simply means that government doesn’t either help tourism nor does it hinder it.
This is not really a form of intervention. It’s a form of neglect and it certainly has no policy and implications.
Indicative government responsibility. Now if you ask yourself the question why is government involved in tourism, then when we look at these areas, we find that often government is the only organization, the only authority which can intervene security for nationals and visitors. If you don’t have security tourists won’t come. Who provides security. Government will provide a police force, maybe it’s the army or the military. Secondly, government is responsible for the health quality of a country and a destination. Now this doesn’t mean that security for tourists and security or health for tourist is any different from the requirements of local people.
But government normally provides these things as a part if you (think) of a social infrastructure, laws, including those pertaining to tourism So laws then may relate to, for example, if you opening a hotel, so many laws you have to meet the building regulations. There will be health and safety regulations, there will be access regulations, there will be regulations relating to where you can build a hotel, and where you can’t be building a hotel. So there are many laws there which pertain specifically to tourism. And of course, only government can introduce laws, nobody else can. Planning and policy issues.
Well, if you got a tourism sector, you should have a policy for it and the policy, therefore will guide your planning for the development of the sector. Think of another thing. Many tourist businesses are run by foreigners and many foreigners say we have to bring in foreign managers with people (who) can do this particular job. So when I go and work in another country, I require to work permit. And a work permit then is an authorization by government which recognizes I may have special skills, which otherwise are not available. But again a private sector cannot simply bring in foreigners without government approval. Visa and entry requirement. How often have you heard the private sector say?
If you abolish visas more tourists will come and that’s probably right. But the contrary to that is, of course, government says we need visas because we therefore can have control over who comes to our country. And if we know the people, for example, bad reputation drug dealers or something like that, we will not give them the visa. Now with the visa then what we find here is that visa requirement on the global basically have diminished. Many countries now will not require visas from certain countries’ visitors. Other countries will give you visas on arrival like Thailand, or you find that you can apply for a visa online without having to go to the local embassy.
So we find then that visas and entry requirements are very often seen as barriers to tourism development. (And they are) But of course there’s a security implication for government and only government can change these regulations. Taxation. Firstly every country in the world is short of foreign exchange and therefore getting what we call DFI, direct foreign investment, persuading foreigners to invest in our tourism.
It is a very competitive business, and therefore we may have to say to foreign investors, if you come in we’ll give you a tax holiday, so you don’t pay any tax on the profit for 5 years 10 years or whatever, allow you to bring in so many foreign workers, or we will remit import or export duties for you. So all these things and these fiscal measures which makes a destination more attractive to investors can only be done by government. Air transport regulations have already spoken about. The classic rule is this, The space above a country is sovereign to that particular country. So if anyone wants to fly over China, it requires the permission of the Chinese government.
If anybody wants to land in China, it requires the permission of the Chinese government.

In this video, professor Carson Jenkins will introduce the role of government in tourism development.

What role does the government play in the development of tourism?

What is your view on this based on the country or regions you have been living?

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China’s Role in Global Tourism Development

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