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Title: The effects of political power, political ideology, interest groups and the government on the making of Chinese outbound tourism policies : from the perspective of policy change
Authors: Yan, Qi York
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Current tourism policy studies have been predominantly enlightened by theoretical conceptualizations and practical instruments from the economy, management and marketing disciplines, resting on such principles as rationality and cost-benefit analysis to account for individual and organizational behaviors when it comes to policy making. However, such a polarized orientation toward prescriptive elaborations of tourism policies has omitted political and bureaucratic dimensions underlying such policies which have wielded more essential influences on their formulations. On the other hand, the political and bureaucratic factors in certain contexts like China have been all the more pronounced to invalidate prescriptive approaches to tourism policies in such contexts. To fill the void of descriptive deliberations on tourism policies, this study is purposed to systematically investigate the policy making mechanisms of Chinese outbound tourism regulations from 1984 to 2002. Taking cognizance of the temporal research scope of this study, the mechanisms are evaluated from the perspective of policy change, taking into particular account the policy changes between the respective Chinese outbound tourism regulations and the inducing factors underlying such changes. Pursuant to an extensive literature review, four significant political and bureaucratic factors, namely political power, political ideology, interest group and the government, are identified and integrated into a conceptual framework guided by stakeholder theory. The government can be regarded as an established organization that is commissioned with the organizational objective of policy making, which is subject to the influences from political power, political ideology and interest groups, all of which are identified as key stakeholders here. Individually, political power is conceptualized at both organizational levels in terms of political party and individual scales in terms of significant political leaders. Political ideology is embodied in discursive discourses structuring and framing values and beliefs which ultimately manipulate individual and collective behaviors. Interest group is the organization cohered by shared attitudes and places policy demands which are the synthetic outcomes of its internal structure and external exchanges. The government, examined with an institutional approach, is composed of both formal institutional structures and the institutional arrangements of policy legacies. Correspondingly, five research questions composed of several sub questions are proposed with regards to the respective and composite effects of the four factors on the formulations of Chinese outbound tourism policies. Especially, following an inductive paradigm based upon the grounded theory approach, the fifth secondary research question has been assigned to explore the effects of any other factors beyond the current ones in the theoretical framework which may also impact Chinese outbound tourism policy making. A multiple case study approach is selected, and identifies 10 most representative Chinese outbound tourism policies promulgated between 1984 and 2002 which can be categorized into policies on tours to Hong Kong and Macau, policies on tours to the border areas and policies on tours to foreign countries. Two qualitative methodologies of convergent interviews and documentation are launched to collect research data in multiple media forms. Content analysis is utilized in data interpretation, facilitated by computerized analytical instruments. Particularly, a Policy Analytical Framework (PAF) is developed and proposed by this study to serve as a comprehensive, consistent and context-relevant platform upon which further and in-depth assessment of the gathered data can convincingly proceed. According to the results of this study, the respective influences of the explored political and bureaucratic factors can be described as follows. The influences of political power on the formulations of Chinese outbound tourism policies have been first of all concentrated within the executive branches of the contemporary Chinese political regime. The Communist Party of China (CPC) has been the overwhelming political power in terms of being the agenda setter of policy formulation, and the significant leaders of CPC can be categorized into two groups of predominant and strategist leaders depending on their varied impacts on policy initiation. When it comes to the effects of political ideology, Deng Xiaoping Theory has demonstrated its omnipresence, particularly in the policies on the Chinese outbound travel agencies. Three major prominent signifiers of Deng Xiaoping Theory have been identified, and Chinese outbound tourism policies have been found to be dialectic arenas of contesting discourses of different political ideologies. With regard to the influences of interest groups, the limited functions of organized interests in policy making are accounted for by the underdeveloped Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), the government-dominated interaction models, and the unsophisticated network structures. Fourthly, a high level of horizontal collaboration, growing significance of provincial tourism administrations, and an incremental model of policy change are emblematic of the impacts of the government. On the whole, all of the stakeholders have generally served as cooperating forces in terms of their positive contributions to the formulation of Chinese outbound tourism policies. The respective salience of the stakeholders has varied, and can be ranked as political ideology, political power and interest group on a descending order. At last, despite their functions in setting the policy agenda, outbound stakeholders have been generally restricted in terms of their salience on the formulation of Chinese outbound tourism policies. In views of the research findings of this study which can be developed into 15 propositions, the research objectives of this study have been adequately fulfilled, and the research questions appropriately addressed. This study has made its due contributions to theoretical advancement and practical enrichment of tourism policy research in the following aspects. Firstly, this study provides unique insights into descriptive tourism policy research with its comprehensive framework in the evaluation of the mechanism of the formulation of tourism policy, its specific research focus on the full dimensionality of policy changes, together with its in-depth investigations of the individual political and bureaucratic factors. Secondly, theoretical advancement has been rendered by this study to deliberations on Chinese outbound tourism, through its capture of the essential dynamism underpinning the development of Chinese outbound tourism, and its thorough discussion of several of the prominent issues closely linked to Chinese outbound tourism. Particularly, the 15 propositions postulated by this study can also serve as credible and prudent references for the analysis and even prediction of the future trajectory of Chinese outbound tourism. Thirdly, another theoretical merit of this study lies in its proposition and application of a Policy Analytical Framework (PAF) which, readily inviting further revisions and adjustments, can function as a justified and pertinent instrument for future research efforts in other tourism policy sectors. At last, the study is credited with its practical implications for the authorities and industrial entities from outbound destinations interested in the Chinese outbound tourism market to devise corresponding strategies and tactics of interactions with their Chinese counterparts which take full cognizance of the political and bureaucratic realities and characteristics underlying this market, so as to take better advantages of this exponentially growing market.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Tourism -- China.
Hospitality industry -- China.
China -- Economic policy -- 1976-
Pages: xvi, 473 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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