An analysis of tourism policy development in modern China

Hanqin Qiu, K. Chong, J. Ap

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Tourism in China has rapidly developed since the adoption of open-door economic reform policy in 1978. There is still little understanding about the role played by the Chinese government in the development of tourism. This paper represents a first attempt to identify the roles played by the Chinese government in developing its international inbound tourism. The period examined is from 1978, a turning point for China's development, to the present. Generally, the Chinese government has played the following roles: Operator - involving ownership and provision of the infrastructure for tourism development and operation of tourism business activities; Regulator - formulating and implementing regulations to control tourism business; Investment stimulator - stimulating tourism investment through the provision of financial incentives; Promoter - spending money on the promotion of tourism in the international market; Coordinator - coordinating activities of different government departments with respect to tourism; and Educator - establishing a system of tourism education institutions and providing tourism education and training programs. Analysis of the policies and government roles in China was examined systematically in terms of demands, decisions, outputs and impacts for each of the three historical periods identified, namely 1978-1985, 1986-1991 and 1992 to the present. The framework adopted for examining the policies in terms of demands, decisions, etc. represents the specific policy issue components of the tourism policy-making process suggested by Hall's model (1994). Based on China's experiences, some implications of the governmental roles for other developing countries are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-485
Number of pages15
JournalTourism Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1999


  • China
  • Government roles
  • Tourism development
  • Tourism policies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Development
  • Transportation

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