Historical Analysis of Tourism Policy and Planning in Malta

Mifsud, Maria (2006) Historical Analysis of Tourism Policy and Planning in Malta. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Tourism development is an activity that while bringing vast economic advantages, it canalso have negative social and environmental impacts. Hence, if tourism is not properlyplanned it can become a very unsustainable activity. The overwhelming message in many studies, papers and reports is that positive impacts can be maximized and

negative ones minimized by means of intelligent policy frameworks [and] sound public and private sector forward planning(Jeffries, 2001:25). Literature has shown that the state plays an indispensable role in successful tourism development since the centralisation of policy-making powers in the hands of the state allows appropriate

measures for the creation of a suitable framework for the promotion and development of tourism to be taken.

Maltese governments have along the years opted for tourism development due to its associated economic advantages. Tourism development in Malta has followed Butler's(1980) typical life cycle curve and can now be considered a mature destination, perhaps in a stage of decline. This research aims at giving a general picture of the positions and

decisions governments in Malta took along the years in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the negative impacts of tourism. The intention is that of providing insights into the real world of planning and its associated set of values, power and interests.

The objectives of this research paper are as follows:

- To understand how the tourism institutional settings, i.e. structure and roles, have changed along the years and how this has influenced policy-making

- To understand the different planning processes that took place

- To understand the role the different stakeholders played in the planning processes and the attitude of planners towards collaboration

- To understand how the issues of power and politics pervaded the whole planning processes

- To analyse changes in tourism policy along the years

The findings provide more empirical evidence to the body of literature and show that Maltese governments along the years have altered the structure and the roles of the tourism institutional settings in order to convey the idea that something positive was being done with respect the recurring problems of tourism. It was found that this can have a negative impact on the public servants morale and motivation. In the early years of planning, Malta like many other countries has relied on aid agencies to take care of its planning and followed a master planning approach. Since 1999, planning has moved more towards Burns' (2004) Third Way. In support to the literature, it was found that

power is omnipresent and pervades the whole planning process. While consultation is taking place, the industry still has a lot of power to get it its way and government is seen as being under its reins. An analysis of tourism policy has shown that like in many other Mediterranean destinations, Maltese governments opted for full blown tourism growth in the early stages of development, turning the islands into a mass destination, and have later on opted for a diversification strategy based on Malta's comparative advantage, i.e. culture.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Tourism Policy and Planning
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2016 15:07
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/20559

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