From Tourism Policy into Practice: Issues and Challenges in Engaging Policy Makers and End Users
Following the success of the previous four International Conferences on Tourism (ICOT) held in China, Greece and Cyprus and the support by the international scholarly community, the 5th ICOT conference will be held at the Department of Marketing, Branding and Tourism, Middlesex University in London, UK.
Conference Aims and Scope:
There has been a growing interest in tourism studies, which has resulted in implications for policies and practical recommendations for end users including practitioners, policy makers, the industry and tourists. Policy is particularly important in tourism due to its multi-faceted nature and the complexity in inter-organizational relations and collaborative policy-making. Moreover, policy implementation is important as many tourism plans and regulations are not applied or are only partially implemented. The understanding of tourism policy-making and implementation, which is described as the process through which policy ideas and plans can be translated into practice has been the focus of many academic studies and professional reports. In recent years the relevance of academic studies to policy making and impact on end users has been a pre-condition for securing research funding. This has been particularly the case in the international research agenda, where academics are asked to link their research proposals to current issues in the industry and engage end users from the very initial stage of research design. Some recent attempts of scholars to link their academic debates and empirical studies have focused on connecting marketing and branding research and practice adopting a global and more multidisciplinary approach, bringing the subject of tourism branding outside of the conventional domains of marketing and destinations. Special attention has been given to the role and expectations of the main tourism stakeholders, particularly residents, business, and government in the hosting community. In addition, theoretical considerations on the role of tourism as a tool for development-related public and private policies are followed by a methodological framework for tourism policy and governance and application of these in real-world situations.
The conference addresses questions such as:
- How does the nature of tourism and its complexity in areas such as inter-organizational relations, collaboration, competition, innovation, marketing, etc. impact policy making and implementation?
- What are the factors identified in both the top-down and bottom-up approaches of policy implementation?
- What are the challenges in implementing tourism policies and what is the current gap between formal and informal policies in tourism?
- Has academia managed to have a significant impact on policy making and end users?
- Examples and case studies in various areas area of tourism research which has managed to make an impact or failed to do so?
- Issues in teaching the principles of tourism policy making and related community engagement.
- How can we measure or evaluate the impact of tourism research on end users?
Bearing all these questions in mind, this conference aims to add to this debate by stimulating discussion and exchange of ideas between tourism professionals, academics, researchers, policy-makers, consultants, practitioners, government officials and postgraduate students from all tourism-related fields.