Chapter 17: The Structure and Role of the Public Sector in Tourism

Question 1: In what ways can the involvement of national, regional or local government aid the development and operation of the tourism industry?

Answer Guide: The involvement of the national, regional or local government can bring:

  • investment in infrastructure, new attractions or amenities
  • policies that protect natural, cultural and heritage resources
  • controls on the commercial operation of the tourism industry to eliminate anti-competitive practices
  • budgets for marketing initiatives
  • education and training initiatives

Question 2: Social tourism suggests holidays should be made available to all in society. What is the justification for this?

Answer Guide: Taking holidays can bring health benefits, so providing social tourism can reduce costs to other sectors of the economy (in lost work days, costs of medical treatments, etc.). It can also bring families together, helping to maintain relationships and reduce family tensions. It can increase self-confidence and provide new skills, thus enhancing the individual and, in turn, society.

Question 3: To what extent is technology changing the demand for, and use of, Tourist Information Centres?

Answer Guide: A wide variety of information is available instantly via the Internet and is easily accessed via smartphone and tablets. This can include lists of attractions, their opening hours, entry charges (and ticket sales). Consequently there is reduced demand for TICs. That said, many tourists still choose to visit a TIC in search of information leaflets and to get advice that will allow them to tailor their time visiting a destination. Touchscreen technology has provided opportunities for TICs to provide information digitally (and out of traditional opening hours). Destination apps and digital guides are also reducing some of the demand for TICs (and in some cases, these resources are provided by the local tourist board).