You are on page 1of 9

UNIT 14 POLITICAL IMPACTS

Structure

14.0 Objectives
14.1 Introduction
14.2 Politics of Tourism
14.3 Tourism as a Political Tool
14.4 Creating Political Images
14.5 Tourism, Public Administration and Bureaucracy
14.6 China and India: A Case Study
14.7 Let Us Sum Up
14.8 Clues to Answers

14.0 OBJECTIVES
After going through this Unit you will be able to:
understand the relationship between political ideologies and tourism,
know about the political use of tourism,
understand how politics influences tourism, and
appreciate the relationship between tourism, public administration and bureaucracy.

14.1 INTRODUCTION
The growth and development of tourism, particularly in the developing countries, is dependent not
only on the economic factors, as the case is often presented, but also on the political forces that
govern these countries. Not only these internal political structures affect tourism but international
politics also has a vital impact on the tourism policies and tourism growth. For example, an advisory
issued by the United States to its citizens not to visit a particular country or a destination, though a
political decision, affects tourism at large. Hence, whatever efforts that country or destination might
have made for tourism promotion go waste in the light of a political decision.
In this Unit, we intend to discuss the political impacts on tourism and of tourism on a nation. Why and
how tourism is used as a political tool for image formation, economic development or determining
international relations is another aspect discussed in the Unit. The Unit also takes into consideration
how political changes affect tourism and the role of bureaucracy vis--vis tourism.

14.2 POLITICS OF TOURISM


M.F. Lanfant and M. Graburn in an article on International Tourism Reconsidered: The Principle
of the Alternative published in 1992, mentioned that tourism is just not a matter of national
growth, but must be conceptualised as part of international relations. In fact tourism has become
an integrated component of not only international relations but also of the international politics which
governs these relations, particularly in the era of globalisation. There is no denying the fact that
tourism is inseparable from the field of international relations (C.M. Hall, Tourism and
Politics: Policy, Power and Place , 1994).
Every aspect of tourism whether it is a question of international travel, cross border movement,
currency exchanges, airline operations, operations of multinational corporations, etc. is governed by
political decisions. One should not forget that political upheavals and unrest in one part of the world
have their impact on other parts of the world affecting tourist flows into a country. Similarly, tourism
policies are laid down by politicians at all levels and the political ideology of a political party has its
158
impact on tourism. For example, the former USSR had imposed restrictions on international travel by
its citizens; China, for a long time, had not opened its doors to tourists; Bhutan has restricted the
number of international tourists in a year, and so on. In many countries tourism was considered a
leisure activity by the governments and policies were formulated to derive income for the state by
imposing heavy taxation on this sector. In many countries this practice continues. In many countries
the political decision makers are tourism illiterates as they have not been able to appreciate its
relevance as a tool of economic growth or on the other hand where it is extensively promoted by
politicians they look only at the economic benefits and ignore its negative impacts. These impacts are
the two extremes of politics which governs tourism. According to Frances Brown (Tourism
Reassessed, 1998), The very establishment and operation of a tourism industry can be viewed
(depending on ones perspective and political leanings) either as a means to development,
modernisation and progress or as an example of structural dependency and neo-colonial
exploitation. She has given an elaborate list of how international relations and tourism affect each
other (See Table 1):
Table 1: Ways in Which International Relations And Tourism Influence Each Other
IR Concerns Tourism-related Effects
War/conflict Discourages visitors to within a wide radius; knock-on economic impact;
tourism infrastructure damaged
Economic competition Tourism chosen as easy to implement
Currency movements/ Tour operators and tourists switch to cheaper countries
devaluations/inflation
Global integration Tourism draws traditional or isolationist societies into global mainstream
Growth/development/restructuring Tourism supplants agriculture in LDCs; replaces manufacturing in DCs
Neo-colonialism, core-periphery Tourism as agent of perpetuation of colonially imposed structural
relationships dependency
Secessionist/independence/radical Target tourists to hurt government financially or draw attention to cause
change movements
Promotion of ideology/way of life Tourism an image enhancer, notably via mega -events
Discouragement of others Travel embargoes; extra-territorial legislation
ideology or policies
International co-operation Regional marketing strategies
Deregulation Higher/lower fares; better/worse service; travel safety issues
Sovereignty Country may facilitate tourism to disputed territory to strengthen its claim
(Hall, 1994: 87)
Flows of people across borders Possible regional integration; may foreshadow or predict aid flows
(Young, in Richter, 1983: 324)
Currency flows across borders International balance of trade affected
Foreign/outside investment in New political power arrangements; rise of new interests
destinations
Demonstration effect Social changes which may be welcomed or not by governments
Imposition or removal of visa Barometer of countries relations and alliances
requirements
High visibility of tourists Potential target for disgruntled groups
Source: Frances Brown, Tourism Reassessed: Blight or Blessing?, 1998

Tourism activity goes beyond picking the correct currency and the best low cost destination. In the
past decade we have seen the use of Human Rights infringements and Democracy issues being closely
linked with tourism. There was a call to boycott tourism to Myanmar because the Military regime has
been holding the democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest. Such boycotts,
it is hoped, will lead the local population to question the legitimacy of the actions of their own
governments. There was outrage in the West over the killings in Tianamen Square in Beijing. In

159
relations between countries, like India and Pakistan, tourist visas are denied and the right to visit
multiple destinations controlled. Limited tours and exchanges have reflected the changing political
relations between countries. Tourist flows can also be used as a barometer of the relations between
tourist generating and tourist receiving countries.
Tourism and its politics transcend national agendas. Womens rights activists, child rights activists,
environmental activists and the peace movement have all used tourism and its positiv e and negative
impacts to focus attention on their causes. Poor nations have taken up their right to control their own
tourism development. The SAARC conference has set up a Tourism Committee to enhance tourism
contact between the countries of the region, to promote better relations through tourism. ASEAN has
a tourism committee that is investigating the idea of an ASEAN passport, easier interregional
currency exchanges and special fares. Thus we can see that tourism, since the beginning of the last
century, has been a highly politicised phenomenon, although this feature of tourism is not always
recognised.
Here it is important to note that there are Trans National Companies whose tourism policies have
often been taken casually. These are the international hotel chains, airlines and tour companies which
dictate standards and prices in the industry worldwide. They have a political impact since they often
own assets that are larger than any national company. In some cases they have larger access to capital
and borrowing than the country in which they own assets. These organizations are not neutral as to the
ways in which tourism should develop. They favour large-scale enterprises and global marketing
techniques and have played a significant role in adopting the slogan of sustainable tourism as a
marketing strategy to cut down the role of the unorganised sector in providing tourist services.
Although the tourist is seen as a carefree individual pursuing a personal motivation, the tourism
industry is a large, intensely competitive, resourceful and capital intensive industry which has grave
consequences for the social and economic well being of people and communities all over the world.
This fact makes it necessary to study the complexity of the relation between tourism and politics. To
understand this aspect, let us list some of the political issues related to tourism .The two broad areas
that could be considered as classificatory are: a) the relations between different political systems and
b) the impacts that follow from national public policy.
Tourism is likely to remain a significant economic activity through the twenty first century. Over 125
nations consider tourism important and for at least one third of them, tourism constitutes a leading
industry providing employment and foreign exchange. For the United States, which has a large and
diverse economic base, tourism is the second largest industry, one of the top three revenue earners for
39 of the 50 states of the Union, employing 6 million people and is the largest tradable services
export. However, political analysts do not see the need to reflect on this important activity.
In many countries where Ministries of Tourism have been established, it is the economic impact
rather than the political potential that has led the policy framework. Tourism has a direct impact on
International Relations, Public Administration and public policy making. In the international field,
Lijphart has identified two areas. These include tourism flows and regional integration and the
symmetry or asymmetry of tourism relationships. These reflect the centre-periphery relations between
countries involved in sending and receiving tourists. By the centre we understand those countries that
dominate tourism flows, both inbound and outbound and by the periphery we understand those
countries that are on the margins of tourism activity, like the countries of South Asia.

14.3 TOURISM AS A POLITICAL TOOL


Very often tourism has been used as a political tool by the governments deliberately and this use
continues in both positive as well as negative ways. Frances Brown has cited the case of Japan where
the government used tourism as a means for redressing its huge trade surplus with the United States. It
promoted overseas travel among its citizens and is a country with highest balance of tourism deficit in
the world. On the other hand, we have examples where governments prevent their people from
travelling abroad generally or to an individual country, directly or indirectly. For example, in the
former USSR exit visas were issued at the direction of the government or till few years back there
were limits to the amount of foreign currency that an outbound tourist can take in India. The
imposition of a travel ban to Cuba in the United States is another example in this regard. Similarly, so

160
long as South Africa followed the policies of Apartheid many countries had put a ban on their citizens
for travelling to that country.
Tourism has been used in a variety of ways as a tool by the governments. For example :
1) Tourism flows can be the precursors of military and economic aid; they can also lead to the
formation of economic and trade blocks and can be the basis of foreign policy linkages between
countries. This aspect is most clearly represented in the visa policies of governments towards
tourists. In fact the issue of tourist visas has always been very high on the agenda of the tour
operators associations, who see this as one of the stumbling blocks to the growth of tourist
arrivals in third world countries.
2) China, Cuba and Vietnam have attempted to use tourism to undermine economic and political
isolation and to attract foreign investment, given that they do not conform to the capitalist
economic model. Through the liberalization of the tourism sector they have attempted to gain
both economic and political benefits. Countries under Martial Law have attempted to use tourism
to get better international coverage. They have tried to show their progress and development, and
to convey a feeling of the improved law and order situation in their countries. Since tourists do
not concentrate on the lack of civil liberties and censorship laws, they often return home with an
impression that people are happy and economically satisfied under a military dictatorship.
3) Tourism is used to boost immigration, domestic morale and as a political weapon. Tourism
enhances a nations sense of internal security and legitimacy. The entire incentive approach to
attract the giants of tourism to ones country indicates the political need of governments to be
significant players in the international tourism market. The short-term nature of most tourism
investments therefore denies a company the time and the ability to develop cordial relations with
the communities and people of the destinations where it operates.
4) On the other hand there are examples of the use of tourism to promote reconciliation between
nations. The Indo-Pak Peoples Forum for Peace and Friendship is using visits between the people
of India and Pakistan to lobby their Governments to encourage peace and friendship. By
becoming a host nation we begin to understand the sociology of the visiting nation. Through such
exchanges the travellers views become politically significant and the tourists become a politically
signific ant class that can create a good or a bad image of the country they visit. It is for this reason
that tourists are often the victims of terrorism. An example is the hi- jack of the Indian Airlines
flight from Kathmandu to Delhi, which was bringing tourists from India back home. Tourists can
alter the political stakes between countries in ways which other terrorist attacks cannot. An
example is the tacit support given to the Taliban by the United States, until the bombings of U.S.
Embassies in Africa by Osma Bin Laden, who has taken political asylum in Afghanistan. The
recent controversy over alleged remarks of the cinema idol Hrithik Roshan created a disturbance
in Indo-Nepalese relations that were limping back to normal after the hi-jack incident.
5) Tourism taxes have political implications as well, since they encourage or discourage the flow of
international tourism. These include exit taxes, passport charges, visa requirements, foreign
exchange restrictions and entry and exit restrictions. Similarly touris m legislation is also a
minefield of political impacts. Treatise like the Helsinki Accords, The Warsaw Convention,
Aviation Laws, Admiralty Laws, Hotel Laws etc. are likely to become increasingly important
diplomatic issues in the coming years.
It is also important to see how international travel and tourism affect jingoism, parochialism and
stereotypes about nations and how tourists become interested in political activity in the host country.
It is interesting to note that world spending on tourism is now higher than military expenditure. Can
we then investigate why the myth of international understanding and goodwill is not being realized
through tourism despite the potential to create a better and more peaceful world?
Perhaps one reason that this potentia l of tourism has not been realized is that there is a complete
absence of the political perspective in most tourism research and in the approach to tourism education.
In the former case, it is assumed that tourists follow opinion leaders and are not consid ered opinion
leaders themselves. To research his or her impressions is a cost no one wants to bear. In the second
case, the thrust of tourism education is industry oriented with an emphasis on product diversification,
standards and delivery systems. When the League of Nations had identified Tourism as a tool for

161
peace in 1917, the need for peace was acutely felt in the wake of a world war. To day we see more
local conflicts in which the major economic powers are no longer looking for military domination but
for economic domination. Peace takes a back seat in such a new configuration.

14.4 CREATING POLITICAL IMAGES


Many countries in the world use tourism as a tool for image creation. These are the countries which
have faced political or economic isolation for various reasons like being dictatorships, curbing human
rights, etc. Cuba and Myanmar etc. are some examples in this regard. Many a times only few areas are
opened to tourists whereas large parts of the country still remain restricted areas and yet the aim is to
showcase the opened up areas for the purposes of image building. Some dictators used tourism to
demonstrate to the outside world that their rule had no negative impact on their citizens and the
country has been progressing well under them. Though the number of tourists might have been a
limited one the rulers there believed that it creates a positive image for them in the outside world. In
fact, it is not just the traditional tourism which is used for this purpose but also holding of events,
conferences, conventions, and exhibitions also used for this purpose.
Political changes also have an impact on tourism flows. For example, the fall of the Soviet Republic
and the creation of new states led to an influx of tourists to these regions in a big way. Similarly, the
opening of China, diverted tourists flows from many other destinations and an equivalent situation
arose with people travelling to South Africa after the downfall of the Apartheid regime. Such political
changes created imbalances as tourist flows were diverted from many erstwhile popular destinations
to these countries because the tourists wanted to experience the areas which had hitherto remained
closed.
Terrorism and war have a direct bearing on tourism as peace is essential for tourism. Tourists
generally avoid areas infested with war, terrorism and political upheaval. Political stability at any
destination is the key word for promoting tourism. Terrorism in one part of the world can kill tourism
at many destinations, e.g., terrorist attac ks in U.S. or its properties abroad restricted the movement of
U.S. tourists to practically to all those destinations where it was apprehended that there might be some
local sympathisers of the terrorist ideology, thus, endangering the very safety of the U.S. nationals. It
is not necessary that tourist traffic is affected to the country or destination where war, terrorism or
political upheaval is actually taking place. Most of the times the entire region or even the continent
also gets affected. In some countries terrorists have targeted tourists in order to defame the political
regime there.

14.5 TOURISM, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND BUREAUCRACY


It is becoming apparent that tourism and public administration are becoming closely linked. The role
of the state and the public sector is being recognized by all political systems. The public good which
tourism should serve cannot be protected by the private sector. The State is therefore playing an
increasing role in the protection of the public good. There is an increasing recognition that there is an
acute shortage of administrators with knowledge of how tourism functions. Tourism succeeds or fails
because of public and administrative action. Where the bureaucracy is ignorant, the travel industry
that is not an objective stakeholder begins to play a greater role. The National Committee on Tourism
suggested a common Task Force for the State and Industry in developing a Tourism Policy for India,
but the recommendations did not take note of the need to develop expertis e amongst the
administration if it was to play a balancing role vis--vis the interests of the private sector. The
industry has expertise in development and promotion but lacks knowledge of the political and social
consequences. The industry cannot think first of the public interest.
In many countries the bureaucracy, on the other hand, thinks first of personal career stability before
the concerns of the public good. In the area of tourism, the bureaucracy juggles statistical data to
follow the standard an d accepted methods of administration to avoid personal responsibility for
decisions made. Government leaders than pick up these statistical measures of the role of tourism and
sweep difficult and contentious decisions under the carpet. It is in these circumstances that many
countries have come to depend on public services for their needs and the ability of the public sector to

162
provide and deliver services in implementing a tourism policy therefore become critical. The politics
of tourism administration has seen the short term gains sideline the long term, balanced growth of
tourism and its integration with the overall economic and political goals of the country.
For example, India saw tourism as a form of encouraging national integration. Despite 170 million
tourists on the move in the country, understanding between different regions and ethnic groups has
not grown upto the expectations. In certain states separatist and militant movements for autonomy and
independence have taken place for political reasons, adversely affecting tourism. Tourism was not
integrated in the overall development plan. Public administration was concerned with industry,
agriculture and other services and did not see the importance of tourism as a political tool for
integration. While the economy became integrated along with the polity, it did not bring equal
opportunity to the people of these regions to participate in its benefits. The federal nature of our state
was undermined and the conflicts between local, regional and national prio rities were not resolved. It
is questionable whether international tourism in such regions will succeed where domestic tourism has
yet to take off.
Similarly, tourism as a policy sector has also been neglected. Tourism policy is different in the sense
that it is not crisis driven. It is not born out of constraints and hard choices. Tourism policy reflects a
choice. It also reflects the interest of the local elite. Bhutan and Burma reluctantly opened their doors
to tourists when they had no other economic options. Saudi Arabia has oil and therefore does not need
tourism. It is probably for this reason that in the early stages, tourism policy is not an area of conflict
but of consensus. When NGOs have raised objections to tourism plans local and national political
representatives have been slow to respond, since the policy indicators do not reflect any division
between the elite of different regions and ethnic groups. All of them have access to leisure, recreation
and travel. This access should not be denied to them and therefore they view tourism as beneficial.
Tourism becomes an area of conflict only in the later stages of its implementation, when the social
costs have to be borne. It is far easier to measure the gross impact of tourism activity than to evaluate
the net benefit from tourism. It is extremely costly to tally the net value of tourism after adjusting the
promotional, administrative, social and psychological costs.
Tourism policies reflect the urban baises of tourism, and almost all urban areas have developed
tourism policies. Rural and environmentally fragile areas are also developing a policy for tourism
when they say no to tourism. Given that tourism has both positive and negative impacts and that there
is the use of tourism as a political, economic and social weapon, the use of a policy for tourism
development becomes increasingly important. In the current world trade order, the use of non-tariff
barriers like sustainability through environmental impacts and child labour protection regulate trade
between countries, again underwriting the importance of a policy perspective where tourism is
concerned.
In most countries, both capitalist and socialist, the direction of tourism policy has been to create
leisure and tourism opportunities for the residents. In the developing countries the reverse is true. It is
the visitor and not the resident that is the focus of policy. Secondly, tourism policies are closely linked
to environmental policies and concerns. Private ownership of time-shares, vacation resorts, second
homes and convention centres are putting the eco-system at risk. The local dependence on land use
taxes is often the reason for the unsustainable development of recreational and tourist spots. Despite
the experience of three decades on the impacts of tourism in developing countries, our tourism
policies have not changed. It is a part of the political importance of tourism and its elite structure in
third world countries that no policy shifts have been observed.
Political and administrative leaders do not ask if it is wise to develop tourism. They only ask
how fast it can grow. This is because of the assumption that even where a country does not have the
infrastructure the tourism dollar will flow in because of the attractions. Delhi is a major entr y point for
tourists. It is a historical city. However it has a high level of air pollution and a poor water supply and
sanitation system. It also has a power crisis. The tourism planners do not consider these negative
factors. On the other hand, the indus try representatives demand incentives to increase tourism flows
and then come up against the infrastructure bottleneck. They then demand short-term solutions to
these developmental bottlenecks. The highway plan can be cited as one such project. The demand for
disinvestments of the airlines and the privatisation of the Railways is another contemplated move to
bring in private and foreign investment as far as tourism policy is concerned.

163
Every Tourism Plan has an agenda, explicit or otherwise. This agenda is political, since the industry
and the resident populations are participants in the political process of democratic countries. Since
politics represents different interests, even laudable aims like the development of backward regions or
income generation for youth and women, will be related to the regional, community and other vested
interests of the ruling elite. Peoples movements in the field of tourism development have therefore
taken up the issue of dispersing the benefits and diminishing the negative im pacts of tourism in the
country.
Poor nations need tourism the most and yet they are the ones with the failed possibilities or wrongly
executed projects. In the Asian region the emphasis on tourism has led to a rapid growth of
destinations. Beaches, mountain ranges and historic sites have been over used by tourism with grave
ecological, social and cultural consequences. It is questionable whether one can turn
underdevelopment into an exotic product. The horse and cart theory rests on such objectives.

14.6 CHINA AND INDIA: A CASE STUDY


Let us evaluate some of the policy objectives and the results that have emerged is several Asian
countries. China has become the most often quoted success story of Asian tourism recording 40
million arrivals. Chinas tourism Policy was negative until 1977. There was hostility to the Chinese
political system and an attempt to keep China isolated from the rest of the world. The U.S. pursued a
policy of encirclement and isolation keeping tourists away. Overseas Chinese were however interested
in visiting families in China and some steps were taken to allow them to do so in the mid fifties. China
continues to have a separate organization and infrastructure for ethnic Chinese visiting the mainland.
This was followed by an organization to cater to foreign friends desiring to visit China. Both these
organizations represented political attempts to break the isolation enforced on China by western
nations. The success of these public relations exercises led to a rethinking on the role of tourism in
China in the sixties
The China Bureau of Travel and Tourism was established in 1964. The purpose was to limit access of
foreigners to China, whilst also taking into account the language barrier that travel in China has to
overcome. Until 1970s the infrastructure used by Soviet experts was made available for tourists. By
this time the U.S. policy of engagement with China had also lifted the barriers to travel. In 1978 China
embarked on its Four Modernizations programme, which included tourism. The first National
Conference on Tourism was held in 1978 to explore not only the friendship and other political
benefits of tourism but also to accumulate funds to pay for the modernization plans. Between 1979-
80, tourist arrivals doubled. Up to 1985 tourist arrivals grew at the rate of 21% per year. There was a
liberalization of the hotel sector that foreign investors found profitable since labour and construction
costs were low. Tourism education and training was taken up with enthusiasm.
Tourism development by 1984 included golf courses, racetracks, amusement parks and other similar
recreational activities for tourists. Dual Tariffs were introduced since tourists now replaced foreign
guests and the prices of Chinese tours went up three times. The Chinese believe that the subsidies for
their residents should not be passed on to tourists, since developing countries are not obliged to
subsidize tourists who come from affluent countries. To day 496 cities are open to foreign tourists,
including Tibet where there have been movements for autonomy supported by the West. In this race
too speed up tourism; the industry perspective dominated Chinese tourism development leading to
criticism and dissatisfaction from tourists.
It is only in recent times that Domestic tourism has been encouraged in China, like the Spring Flowers
Programme that invites girls from backward and minority areas to spend a summer with a family in
Beijing to take back the experience of modernization to the village. 100 million domestic tourists have
made a significant contribution to the Chinese economy as incomes have increased and political
liberalization has relaxed the ability to travel around the country. However several glitches remain.
The political structure of tourism that rests on th e ability to pay for quality and the nature of the
expectations of tourists who demand their environmental bubble without considering what it costs the
host economy continue to affect the politics of tourism in China.
Indias tourism policy is a striking contrast. Tourism in South Asia differs radically from other
developing countries. Although it has low levels of international tourism, its domestic and inter-

164
regional movements are the highest in the world. It is this element that is of economic, cultural and
political importance. However the policy makers have not attempted to measure its importance since
it is not seen as an indicator of the countrys attractiveness to tourists. Today when the reforms have
opened up the possibilities of foreign travel and the GATS has opened up the travel industry to
foreign operations; the outbound market from India is significantly larger than the international in
bound market. However, domestic tourism continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, only constrained
by the limited services available across the country. Whereas the high spender is going abroad for the
same price as a holiday at home, it is the middle segment that has taken to domestic tourism with
enthusiasm.
India has had to contend not only with political problems at home, but given its location, it is affected
by the political problems of its neighbours and regions. Our policy makers are not able to project the
size of the country or to engage in a damage control exercise in time to ensure that the image of
political violence and unrest do not damage our tourism potential. Considering that India has had the
longest experience in tourism policy and planning in the region, it is surprising that implementation is
ad hoc. There have been five policy phases that reflect the politics of tourism in India.
Between 1949-66 tourism grew slowly with little governmental intervention. Tourism was assumed to
be a state subject and since the states were inactive, the centre played no role, even though a
Department of tourism was established in 1958. The second phase that covered the period 1966-77
was one of limited but considered incentives for the development of tourism and the entry of the
government as a catalyst with the establishment of ITDC. Policy direction was in the encouragement
of balanced growth, self-reliance and diffusion of economic benefits. The Third phase, called the
Janta movement lasted from 1977-79, where the policy thrust turned towards domestic tourists and
educated and enlightened budget tourists from abroad who would create a better word of mouth image
for India. The fourth phase began in 1980. It is here that rapid tourism development and setting of
targets begins. The fifth phase is related to unprecedented commitments to the private sector to
increase the pace of tourism to India by the government in 1984. Tourism was recognized as an
industry and the Planning Commission tripled its allocation to tourism. It is in this phase that several
distressing developments have taken place in the effort to diversify the tourist product. It seems that
third world planners are unable to resist the temptation to go for grandiose projects when they get the
opportunity to be at the helm of tourism affairs.
The attempt to establish world standards in services and facilities as well as education has led to
completely abandoning self-reliance and priorities of our own developmental needs. In the era of
globalisation more and more benefits of tourism are passing into foreign hands whilst the costs to us
are being borne by those sections that do not have access to tourism.
This brief review of the policies of India and China, the two potential giants of tourism in Asia reflect
the close links between tourism and politics that require further scrutiny and a more pluralistic
perspective than we have had.

Check Your Progress

1) How does politics affect tourism?


.
.

2) How are tourism and public administration linked to each other?


.
.

3) How has tourism been used as a political tool?


.
.

165
14.7 LET US SUM UP
Tourism is influenced by politics and in some cases it is vice-versa also. On the one hand, the political
ideology or the policies of the government affect tourism policies and on the other, tourism has been
used as a political tool for a variety of purposes by the governments. Political stability is essential for
tourism. War, terrorism and political upheavals severely affect tourism flows, irrespective of their
location. This Unit cited examples of the way political changes in a country have a bearing on tourism
flows. There is a close link between tourism and public administration as the bureaucrats and
politicians have a major role in determining the tourism policies. Tourism planning, tourism
legislation, tourism regulations, etc. all depend on the policies of the government which again are
determined as per the ideology and programme of the political party in power.

14.8 CLUES TO ANSWERS


Check Your Progress

1) Read Sec.14.2 for your answer keeping in view that practically all aspects of tourism planning
and operations are mostly governed by political decisions.
2) Sec.14.5 deals with this in detail.
3) Sec.14.3 gives this in detail.

166