23 October 2012

A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with The University of Queensland has identified the need for a ‘whole of government approach’ in dealing with challenges to effective governance and policy development in tourism.

UQ’s School of Tourism researcher Associate Professor Noel Scott said the development of effective tourism policy is a challenging task, as the tourism industry is open and subject to political, social, environmental and technological trends.

“The tourism industry requires the coordination of private sector businesses of varying scales and sophistication that both compete and co-operate with one another,” Dr Scott said.

“It involves governments at the national and sub-national level in a variety of capacities including border security, visa issues and customs inspections.

“There is also a need to regulate markets such as aviation, control tourism attractions such as national parks, and fund the development of infrastructure.”

Dr Scott said that in order deal with these challenges and develop more effective tourism-related policies, institutional governance mechanisms must be strengthened.

“Governance can be improved through both institutional and human capacity building, ensuring institutions have well-defined objectives and clear mandates, and effective leadership and political support," Dr Scott said.

“Mechanisms to improve co-ordination between central and sub-national governments include the development of tourism strategies, use of contracts and creation of joint committees.

“At an industry level, governments are encouraging the development of a single peak tourism industry association to facilitate more co-ordinated industry representation.

“Mechanisms to manage the interface with industry include the establishment of representative associations and Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), that provide a forum for co-operation and policy debate.”

Dr Scott was invited to present his research at the 6th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook in Guilin, China on October 12.

The full results of the study can be found in chapter 1: The Governance of Tourism in OECD Countries,in OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2012.

Media: Claire Shuter, (07) 3346 9259 or c.shuter@uq.edu.au