The formulation of international tourism policy : an analysis of Thailand

PhD Thesis

Dodson, Robert Charles 2004. The formulation of international tourism policy : an analysis of Thailand. PhD Thesis
AuthorsDodson, Robert Charles
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification namePhD

This study, in attempting to bridge the gap between the sub-discipline of international politics and tourism as a field of studies, constructed a series of initial research questions concerning international tourism policy. The tourism policy debates were reviewed and analysed. This confirmed a significant gap in the literature relating to
international tourism policy formulation, especially in relation to developing countries. The Kingdom of Thailand, as an example of a developing country, provided a case study for the examination of international tourism policy. It has been a destination for the mass tourist for over forty years and during much of that time tourist arrivals have grown rapidly. The research takes a multidisciplinary approach to policy making, incorporating sociology, politics, geography, history and business strategy in its widest sense to the study.
Moreover, the investigation adopts a multiculturalist perspective for the study of policy. The text critically reviews, from a multicultural perspective, the factors which influence the formulation of international tourism policy, and then relates these to Thailand. A combination of historical and in-depth survey methods were employed. Primary and secondary source material was gathered, which contributed to the documentary evidence on international tourism policy formulation in the Kingdom. This is combined and compared with the perceptions of twenty-one respondents who participated in the in-depth survey. Respondents, from the public and the private sector were chosen because of their knowledge of tourism in Thailand as stakeholders in the process. A major factor, which influences the formulation of international tourism policy, is associated with earning foreign currency. Therefore, the performance criteria for success was measured in terms of international tourist numbers and expenditure. In this respect, the role of government has been to ensure that international tourists increased year on year. When measured in this way, the respondents had no doubt that Thailand's international tourism policy was successful. The findings, also confirmed the validity of the following statement, in the context of the Kingdom of Thailand, that where tourism succeeds or fails is largely a function of political and administrative action and is not a function of economic or business expertise. The findings from the key stakeholder interviews were then mapped on to a model 'Elements in the Tourism Policy Process' in order to establish a fit. They did not fit well. The tourism policy process in Thailand lacked the wide participation assumed by the model. The study claims to be an addition to the literature about tourism policy and the politics of tourism in several ways. It takes a multidisciplinary approach to international tourism policy, adopting a multicultural perspective within the setting of a developing destination country. Drawing on respondents closely associated with the policy making process, the analysis provides insights into 'what was' rather than 'what might be' the reality of the process. Future directions for research in this area are suggested.

Keywordsinternational tourism policy; Thailand ; tourism
PublisherUniversity of Derby
Web address (URL)
Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Dec 2014, 14:57
Publication dates2004
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