Paper Title: New developments in the Relationship between Tourism Policy and Local Economic Development in the United Kingdom
Authors: Kennell James
This paper examines the relationship between government tourism policy and local economic development in the United Kingdom. The economic contribution of the tourism industry in the United Kingdom is discussed and the ways in which the tourism policies of the previous thirteen year labour party government attempted to harness this for local economic development are critiqued. The tourism policy of the United Kingdom’s new coalition government is then analysed in the context of the global financial crisis. In order to evaluate the relationship between tourism policy and local economic development, three modes of local economic development are proposed, the third of which, progressive local economic development, is particularly relevant in the current economic context. This analysis shows that, although the current government’s tourism policy continues with many of the assumptions of previous policies about the links between tourism and economic development, it does introduce some new thinking that may create an environment in which the tourism industry can contribute to progressive local economic development that promotes sustainable economic growth. The paper ends with three practical ways that the state could support this contribution.