Factors affecting tourism policy implementation: A conceptual framework and a case study in China

Dan Wang, John Ap

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


The understanding of tourism policy-making and implementation is important due to the multi-faceted nature of tourism and the complexity in inter-organizational relations and collaborative policy-making. This paper aims at contributing to the frameworks and theories regarding the implementation of tourism policy by considering the factors identified in both the top-down and bottom-up approaches of policy implementation. The main purpose of this study is to develop a conceptual framework describing the factors affecting the implementation of tourism policy and illustrate the framework with the experience of tourism policy implementation at the local level in China. It was found that four factors including: economic and social macro-environment; institutional arrangements; inter-organizational relations (IOR) and inter-organizational co-ordination structures (IOC); and interest groups were influential in the implementation of tourism policy. Furthermore, the case study in China identified the roles of each factor in terms of constraints and facilitators in the real-world context and enriched the conceptual framework by illustrating the relationships among factors. This study sheds light on concepts and theories regarding tourism policy implementation. It also addresses some solutions which may enrich the tourism policy literature in an Asian and developing country context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • China
  • Inter-organizational co-operation
  • Policy implementation
  • Public administration
  • Tourism governance
  • Tourism policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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