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Policies Impacting the Tourism Sector

Policies impacting the tourism sector
So, following on from the description of policy as wish lists, I would like then to pick up a point I made earlier to you. And, that is that there are policies which impact on the tourism sector. And I’ve just taken a few examples for you. Now, we’ve all traveled. We’ve all been frustrated by the need to apply for visas. And if we want to work in another country, that we’re equally frustrated by the need to apply for work permits. Okay, but if you think about it, if you think about visas then visas are the frustration for travelers.
And organizations like the United Nations World Travel Organization, has tried now over maybe thirty odd years, to get governments to be much freer on visas in some cases to abolish visas entirely but in others. Then to be less restrictive. And we already see it in some countries. You can apply for a visa online, so you don’t have to go to the local embassy. And, in that sense then visas become very important. Because for you and I as travelers they are frustrations. But for governments, there very often security barriers by restricting people, who they think are not desirable for whatever reasons coming to their countries.
So things like visas and I’ve heard so many travel companies, so many travel agents, saying oh if we relax visas, then you know we can bring in so many more tourists. But, the other dimension of course is national security. And that becomes a very very important point. So, again immigration visas work permits are not organized. They’re not controlled by the tourism sector. They are the responsibility of government. Another thing which I touched on a little bit few minutes ago, is that when we look at investment then investment can come domestically. It comes from foreign sources. And again in any country, there’s a massive amount of fiscal legislation, taxes and things like that.
And you find then in this sense it can impact on the tourism sector. Now one time I used to live in the Caribbean, worked in the Caribbean and at that time the Caribbean Tourist Association, the CTA had about thirty member countries. Most of these were small islands and big countries like Guyana, for example, and Columbia on the South American mainland. But, if you looked at those small islands and place like Barbados and Jamaica and St Lucia. and the Grenadines, for example, they all had the same attraction which was beach tourism. Now, they say no no no we have more than that.
But, if you looked at it you stripped it down of all the verbiage, then the main attraction was climate and beach things. But, the point was, you see that every island is offering basically the same thing. And what happened. You had the wastes of competition. So you find that one country would give say, five year tax free holiday for investors. Somebody else will give sevenSome will give fifteen. Someone will say well, we’ll give you as many work permits as you want. Bring it as many foreigners as you want. Others will be much more restrictive. So in this sense again, when you get a competition, and I think tourism is among the most the competitively global services in the world.
And if this is the case then, not only do you have the choice of maybe the thirty island destinations in the Caribbean for the beach holiday, there are many beach holidays right throughout the world. So, they’re facing themselves then with a very competitive environment. And, this for you tend to actually say, OK. I’m gonna trying to get in the inducements incentives to bring tourists here by providing better infrastructure. Also, land use policies, In many of these islands then you find that land use policies become very important. Because land is restricted and you have competing needs for it, for tourism for agriculture for different types of agriculture, maybe for for grazing for example.
And therefore how you allocate it, land to tourism how you control, how that land is used is very very important indeed. So, I think of the case of Jamaica to take a well known Caribbean island very important for tourism, initially had three tourist development regions A B and C. A was the most developed B was less developed. And C was just beginning. So, if you wanted to invest in any part of the island, then if you wanted to go to the zone A the best developed, you get lesser incentives. If you go to zone B which was the second best developed, so you get more incentive.
Sorry, if you went to the place which was starting off, you get the biggest help of all. So, in this sense then, they were trying to control development by inducements. Another thing is when we talk of tourism, what we always need to remember is tourism is about people. It’s about people traveling domestically, about people traveling internationally and tourists industry is a service industry. So, you can build the best hotel in an island, the best hotel in the country. But, if you don’t have properly trained staff, your customers will go elsewhere. So, training and educational proposals, there are very very important in our tourism industry. And, the question is who provides this.
If that education should be government, or should be we say to the investors you train your own people, what whatever it might be. So, what we find then we look at the uh, these areas then they all impact on the tourism sector. And maybe another one which we are all familiar with is transport. Okay, so if I’m coming from the UK to China I fly, I could come by train it would take me two weeks at least two weeks. If I came by sea, it would take me probably two months all right.
So, when I look at China, then if I was then looking from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism here, I would say how can we increase the number of tourists coming from Europe, and the vital thing there in transport policy is a air links. And air transport policy is very complicated because it operates at two levels. One is the government level. Governments agree in multilateral agreements only bilateral agreements. And secondly the airlines, they’re negotiating routes negotiating fares and various things. So if you looked at all those things, I’m not by any means exhausted them.
What do you find then is that tourism is impacted by policies at government level, and it’s also impacted by policies which come from other sectors but are integral to the tourism industry. So tourism is multi sectoral. And therefore we have to take into account, what the requirements of the tourism sector are. We’ve got to look at a tourism policies. So as a minister of tourism, I could go along and talk to the director of an airline and say, have you thought about running a service into this area. Because I think there’s a lot of tourism potential that from his point of view, he would say well if I did what sort of numbers are we going to get.
Do I need a daily service? Do I need a weekly service? So, these are these trade offs which become very very important indeed. And maybe the last point here in terms of tailoring incentives, is that normally the bigger the investment the more incentive the company gets. So the company says I’m gonna start this tourist resort, I am going to employ a thousand people. They’re likely get a higher level of support from government. If someone goes along and said, I’m gonna start this tourism business and going to employ fifty people. Ok, economies of scale become very very are important indeed. So, policies then from other sectors of the economy impact on tourism development.

In this video, Professor Carson Jenkins will introduce the policies impacting the tourism sector.

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Tourism Policy and Planning

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