Tourism and the public sector in England since 2010: a disorderly transition?
Hutchison, Fiona Catherine
Current Issues in Tourism
The recent financial crisis has reconfigured tourism production and consumption. Many states have cut public spending to reduce deficits. However, there has been no analysis of the nature, extent or outcomes of such changes to state support for, or mediation of, the tourism sector. This paper examines how reforms since the Coalition Government came to power in May 2010 have impacted on tourism governance and administration in England, and how they have been experienced as they have been unfolding. This paper argues, more generally, for a greater appreciation of sense-making in critical studies of tourism and public policy. More specifically, rapid reforms to the preferred nature and scale of state intervention have had destabilising effects. New localism, sub-regional bodies, and a desire in central government to reduce public contributions to a minimum have introduced complexity and uncertainty to a previously ordered and understood system. The implications are that these reforms may frustrate other national policy aspirations they are intended to facilitate. As it is likely that other states will also downgrade their support for tourism in response to the crisis, the paper points to the importance of developing a deeper understandings of what happens as public sector support is withdrawn.
Post-print version of article. Final version published by Routledge; available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/