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Title: Early development of foreign direct investment in the travel trade industry of China, 1998 to 2007
Author: Yu, Jian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 4150
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2010
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This research aims to investigate the development approaches, operational experiences, and market influences of foreign invested travel service (FITS) companies, including travel agencies and tour operators, in China in the opening decade (1998-2007) of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the industry. It also examines the Chinese business environment for the development of the FITS sector in the country. The investigation was conducted through some focused aspects, including different roles of three major locations; the setup and licensing process in the FITS sector; the FITSs’ original countries and relative features; their ownership and management structures; their major target markets and profitability; the FITS’s HR strategies on the local employment; the relationships between the FITS sector and the indigenous services, and the overall environment, as well as the opportunities and challenges for the sector’s development in China. The research focuses on three locations, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong province which host almost all the FITS companies (27 registered in total) in China in the decade. The methodology combines the study of both primary and secondary data, with interviews being undertaken with the FITSs (29 formal interviews with 14 FITSs) and a questionnaire survey towards 150 Chinese travel services in the locations. Given the understanding of existing literature on the travel trade business, FDI, China’s economic and political foundations, and the opening of the Chinese tourism industry, the thesis argues that the development of the FITS sector in China was substantially constrained and shaped by the protectionist policies of the Chinese government in the first opening decade. The government’s strong power through policies and SOEs is also one of the most considerable challenges for FITSs in China. However, the FITS companies were not passive actors in this situation, but developed a range of strategies in response to the changing regulatory framework, which effectively shaped a rapidly emerging sector and its relations with endogenous companies. The research is important also because there are positive opportunities in the country for the future development of the FITS sector, in response to anticipated further opening of the market.
Supervisor: Shaw, Gareth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: FDI ; policy obstacles ; China's travel trade ; management strategy