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Title: The role of political transition in tourism development : the example of Vietnam
Author: Suntikul, Wantanee
ISNI:       0000 0001 3491 2372
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2005
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With the 1986 declaration of the doi moi programme of economic reforms, the Vietnamese government instituted a process of transition in the country, with the aim of transforming the Vietnamese economy from a centrally planned communist model to a free market economy within a socialist political culture. These changes have accompanied and encouraged a gradual opening-up of Vietnam to the international tourism market, which has brought a large new source of both income and foreign influence to Vietnam. This study seeks to chart changes in Vietnam’s tourism sector since the beginning of doi moi, and to relate these transformations with changes in the political culture in the country. The study focuses particularly upon the ways in which political transition has affected developments in tourism as well as the ways in which changes in the tourism sector have influenced political change in Vietnam and changes in other aspects of Vietnamese society. . The historical, economic and political context for the research is established in a series of surveys on the topics of colonialism, communism and Vietnamese history. Background studies in tourism development and the relationship between politics and tourism form a foundation and framework for the understanding and critical assessment of the phenomena of change under investigation. The findings of the research are presented as four sub-case studies addressing different sectors of the Vietnamese tourism industry, including 1) visa, transportation and marketing (grouped under the title ‘visitation to Vietnam’), 2) accommodation and tour operators, 3) attractions and 4) protected natural areas. Each of these sub-case studies is used to exemplify a certain facet of change in Vietnam tourism, especially with regard to the ways in which tourism and politics interact in a mutually-forming dialogue in present-day Vietnam. The findings of the sub-case studies are synthesised in a discussion chapter, which proposes broad themes by which the various developments in the relation between political change and change in tourism patterns in Vietnam may be collated and understood. These themes include the division of roles between the state, private and foreign sectors; dependences that limit development; changes in government culture; new influences on Vietnam tourism development; and human resources issues. The concluding chapter of the study offers answers to the questions posed at the outset of the research, by assessing the effects of political transition on tourism patterns in Vietnam, the changes in the relationship between government policy and tourism development, the effects of tourism on development in other aspects of Vietnamese culture, and commenting on the changing tourism image of Vietnam.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available