What is Policy?
The Importance of defining policy
-Clarifying what policy is from different perspectives provides a means for people to understand what it is we are talking about, examining or researching gives direction. -Provide boundaries to the subject matter.
-Provide a common platform for understanding.
-Clarify who is involved and/or responsible.
Definitions of Policy
-Thomas Dye – “whatever governments choose to do or not to do.” -Considine – “continuing work done by groups of policy actors who use available institutions to articulate and express the things they value.” -Bridgeman and David – “the vehicle through which politicians seek to make a difference.” Characteristics of Policy
1.Involves the government: involvement will vary according to the issue. 2.Is a stated intention or commitment to undertake a particular action or bring about change Course of action that has been legitimated by government. 3.Involves hypothesising about future causes and consequences. 4.Is an action that brings about intervention or an allocation/redistribution of resources. 5.Is an organisational practice.
6.Is about choices that governments and policy collaborators make. 7.Involves mediating values and interest.
What is Planning?
-Much like policy, there is no universal agreement on how to define planning. -In its simplest form, planning is about identifying appropriate steps to achieve some predetermined goal. -Planning is:
oConcerned with the future.
oAcquiring knowledge and identifying alternatives.
oAnticipating change in uncertain conditions.
oDeveloping a strategic vision.
oChoosing the best/most appropriate course of action.
oValue-laden and political.
What is Tourism?
-Definitions of tourism are diverse and are often driven by the need to collect data. -Defining tourism from different perspectives shapes policy direction and content: oTourism as temporary leisure and recreation.
oTourism as travel decisions and behaviour.
oTourism as the sum of relationships between tourists, tourism industry, community, government and NGOs. -Dominant view of tourism is that it is an industry an network of businesses and this shapes government policy and tourism administration.
Defining tourism in a policy and planning context
-With a broader view of tourism, tourism:
oInvolves the movement of people and resources.
oIs characterised by a collection of government, businesses, activities and processes that assist people to make decisions about travel. oInvolves the production and consumption of a range of tangible and intangible resources. oOverlaps and intersects with the daily lives of local communities. oInvolves the production and consumption of tourism experiences. oProduces a range of intended and unintended consequences and effects that need to be critically examined and managed. -This shows that tourism policy and planning require attention to a number of policy areas, and not just focus on economic/industrial dimensions of tourism. Studying Tourism – Public Policy
-There are many approaches to researching/understanding tourism public policy. Examples include: oHistory of tourism organisations/legacies.oPublic administration histories oRole of stateoOrganisational culture and behaviours
oPolitical dimensions of policy makingoRole & influence of public servants/bureaucracy oPower (sources and distribution)oComparative studies at different scales oPressure groups and lobbyingoEffectiveness, efficiency, transparency oLeadership distributionoPublic interest
The Social Constructionist Approach
-Planning and policy making are dynamic, socially constructed activities that involve a wide range of agents and organisations characterised by varying degrees of interest and commitment to tourism. -There is no best way of approaching the analysis of policy that will reveal a higher order of truth. -...