The implementation of the GATS and its impact upon tourism development
The research is aimed to examine the implementation of the GATS and its impact upon tourism development, particularly in Korea. The GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) agreement has been implemented in order to liberalise World Trade in services. In this respect, the research examines the performance of GATT to see how successful GATT has been in securing and fostering world trade in manufacturing industry and then moves on to examine the implementation of GATS and, by drawing upon findings from other trading agreements (such as the NAFTA and EU) estimate the likely impacts that such agreements will have on tourism services and the manner in which they are delivered. The GATS agreement is a long-term undertaking in which major trading countries are likely to become members. GATS sets up a legal and operational framework for the liberalisation of international trade in tourism as well as other services. The principle of GATS is the liberalisation of exchange of services and it is adapted from the GATT (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade). The GATS has been established as part of the multilateral trade negotiations and introduced new rules for services to complete overhaul of the GATT trade system. The rapid growth of tourism is the product of liberalisation which has been the hallmark of economic policy throughout the world, during the past decade. The UNCTAD report (1999) states that both globalisation and liberalisation have increased the potential for international trade in goods and services to become an unprecedented engine of growth and an important mechanism for integrating countries into the global economy. However, the GATS has many implications for tourism, particularly for tourism policymakers since it covers many different areas and sectors in tourism. Unlike other services, tourism is not a specific type of service, but a mixture of different services consumed by tourists. Therefore, it is essential to understand the rules and the principles of GATS as applied to tourism sectors in international trade. The overall aims of the study are: 1. To examine the factors that influence world trade in goods and services. 2. To examine the influences that GATS is likely to have on the scope and magnitude of world trade in services. 3. To determine how GATS impacts on tourism development in developing countries and act as a catalyst to enhance the development of developing countries. 4. To examine what are the likely effects. of GATS upon tourism development and delivery in Korea. Since one of the research objectives is to examine what is the likely effect of GATS upon tourism development and delivery in Korea, the case study was a useful technique. In particular, the case study seemed an appropriate strategy to answer the research question because the research area is relatively new. Therefore, descriptive research design was adopted for this particular study. Moreover, the research adopted an explanatory research design, in order to investigate relationships by giving answers to problems and hypotheses. Through explanatory research, this study seeks to explore aspects of tourism development as a result of liberalisation and globalisation in Korea. In particular, this study investigates specified areas such as: how will GATS help future tourism development in Korea? Why are there different perceptions of GATS between the private and public sector? How do government policies and regulations affect future tourism development? by using interviews and questionnaires. For this study, the semi-structured interviews were used and questionnaires were designed to gather information about the impacts of GATS on tourism development in Korea before conducting the survey, but it failed to obtain the necessary information. It is hoped that these findings enhance an understanding of the role of international trade in services particularly tourism industry, which may assist national and international tourism policy makers to consider the complexities and difficulties of understanding the rules of multilateral trade agreements (such as GATS) not only to develop tourism but also to develop other service sectors, especially in developing countries.