Planning for sustainable tourism development : an investigation into implementing tourism policy in the North West coast region of Egypt
'Policy analysis is one activity for which there can be no fixed program, for policy analysis is synonymous with creativity, which may be stimulated by theory and sharpened by practice.' (Wildavsky 1979: 3) This study is concerned with analyzing the tourism public policy process within the framework of institutional arrangements, power arrangements, values, interests, and motivations of the principal actors involved in the process. It aims to explain and analyze the development process of the North West Coast (NWC) region of Egypt which experienced the implementation of a tourism public policy that was employed to assist with the resolution of Egypt's human settlement and economic problems. Accordingly, it examines the national development challenges, the policies adopted to address them and the coherent history of the tourism policy process executed in the NWC region. The study evaluates the tourism policy in terms of how far it achieved its promises. The findings of the research support the research hypothesis, which postulates that short-term political expediency constrained the implementation of national and regional policy objectives. Political expediency was examined in both the policy formulation and policy implementation stages of the policy process and was manifested when the actors involved were found seeking special advantage through public policy. In addition, it was manifested when institutions (each with its own preferences) struggled to control resources and implement their agendas. Furthermore, it was manifested when certain concessions to a powerful clan or a kin were awarded to gain more political powers. Accordingly, the theoretical framework is based on analyzing three dynamic and interrelated fields: First, the politics of public policy implementation, with particular reference to tourism as an instrument for development. Second, the concept of sustainable tourism which is utilized as an analytical tool and as an idealized model against which tourism development in the NWC region has been evaluated, particularly because it was an overall objective for the region's tourism policy. Third: the extent of government activity in formulating tourism public policy and managing tourism development. The research shows that much of the deviations from achieving the national and regional policy objectives can be explained through the interactions, variations and relationships between institutional structures, power arrangements and the differences in values, motivations, and interests of the actors and institutions involved in formulating and implementing the tourism policy in the NWC region.