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The Role of Tourism for Regional Economic Planning: A Case Study of Harz Mountain Areas in the Process of German Unification.

Choi, Young-Min. (1995) The Role of Tourism for Regional Economic Planning: A Case Study of Harz Mountain Areas in the Process of German Unification. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The role of tourism in economic development has gained significance in most countries. The emphasis varies from local, regional and national tourism programmes. Central to the contribution of tourism has been the concept of tourism planning. This type of planning attempts to integrate the various participants in the tourism industry within regional and national programmes. The focus in this study was the role of tourism for regional economic planning implications specifically for tourism planning during and after the unification process in Germany. Primarily, to understand the importance of tourism in balancing economies emerging from opposite ideologies such as socialist centralised economies in former East Germany and free-market economy in the former West Germany. A detailed analysis was attempted through a case study of the Harz mountain region on both sides of the former Germany nations. The insights from this study aimed to provide the way forward for the anticipated unification of South and North Korea. The assumption being that tourism is a potential growth area in both Germany and Korea. Secondly, that similar economies emerging from socialist centralised and capitalist, that is former East Germany, North Korea and West Germany and South Korea respectively, provided an ideal setting for exploring the role of tourism on the regional economic situation. The study investigated the nature of planning in the former West Germany which largely formed the basis for planning in the reunified Germany. This showed a tripartite arrangement between the state (local), regional and federal governments. The state and regional levels had great autonomy over economic planning with the federal government providing incentives such as subsidies and tax breaks to potential investors and participants. With regard to tourism, the federal government did not have a clear policy given the responsibilities shared between two ministries - Economics and Urban Affairs. However, decentralisation of tourism-related activities was encouraged within the private sector. In contrast, the centralised socialist former East Germany, emphasised top-down control of the industry mainly driven by political and social ideologies. Hence, the differences in economic systems and emphasis in development of the tourism industry in the two former Germany states. These considerations showed close similarities between the Germany and Korean cases as noted earlier. The case study in the Harz region investigated the perceptions of the residents from both sides of former East and West Germany, in regard to tourism development. The evidence showed general agreement on its impact on economic development resulting in employment creation, increases in local income and growth of local businesses. Both residents pointed out positive socio-cultural aspects such host community exposure to other cultures, availability of entertainment. Similarly, preservation of the environment and ecology were perceived to receive greater attention after unification and in the immediate future. However, residents on both sides cited potential negative aspects from tourism development such as increases in crime, vandalism, alcoholism, cost of living and inflation, as well as social disintegration through exposure to foreign cultures. Similarly environmental degradation from mass tourism and unplanned development were anticipated by most residents. These perceptions have implications for tourism planners and other private and public planners, in particular, during the unification and post-unification periods in Germany. These insights are significant for the envisioned unification of Korea. The way forward for tourism planning is considered in the section.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Choi, Young-Min.
Date : 1995
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1995.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 30 Apr 2019 08:08
Last Modified : 20 Aug 2019 15:33
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/851508

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