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Title: Tourism, economic development and governance : the case of Liverpool 1974-2000.
Author: Connelly, Greg.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2003
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Urban tourism has never been more important, nor the issues it confronts more complex. The aim of this study is to examine the tourism policy process within the context of governance structures and economic restructuring in Liverpool. The thesis argues that to research developments which are creating 'new' forms of urban tourism there is a need to develop a governance perspective through a 'middle-order' theoretical framework, applying key concepts from theories of urban entrepreneurialism proposed by Harvey (1989) and especially, Jessop (1997, 1998) in order to understand the dynamics of local change. The analytical framework was used to review the history of tourism development in Liverpool tracing the origins of tourism organisation since the county of Merseyside was created in 1974. In the period since, the thesis identifies three distinct phases of tourism policy which reflect a response to the legacy of the industrial past and which are indicative of the shift from government to governance. The first phase (1974-1986) represents the beginnings of a tourism industry in Liverpool, signalling a shift from government to governance. The major introduction of tourism to the local economy, in this period, emanated from the establishment of the Merseyside County Council's Tourism Development Office in 1978 and the success of three main Merseyside Development Corporation's initiatives in the early 1980s. These two organisations were the first to initiate policies which encouraged new tourist attractions and thus demonstrated the tourism potential of the city. However, it is the argument of the thesis that the realisation that tourism could make a significant contribution to urban regeneration, in this period, stemmed from a mixture of good reasoning, default and opportunism. The second phase (1986-1994) represents the repositioning of tourism policy on the urban agenda. The response was a proliferation of new agents of governance, and the shift towards public-private partnerships gathered pace as the city increasingly attempted to compete for visitors, investment, jobs and the regeneration of its physical infrastructure. The thesis argues that during this period a space emerged which fitted most comfortably with unlocking resources from higher levels of government and espousing a pro-growth tourism agenda. The final phase (1994-2000) emerged with the introduction of EU Objective 1 structural funds. The thesis argues that this new supranational tier of policy intervention complicated the governance picture in Liverpool as intervention was now taking place at local, regional, national and supranational levels. With so many new influences and bureaucracies involved contests and tensions emerged between different tiers of governance with regard to the effective working of tourism programmes. Nevertheless, the drive to prioritise entrepreneurship and the pursuit of the new intensified as did the range of new tourism policy initiatives and delivery mechanisms. The thesis concludes with reflections on the theoretical approach and empirical findings, a number of policy recommendations and proposals for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available