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State policy and the tourism industry in the Philippines

Clifford, Robert J. (1985) State policy and the tourism industry in the Philippines. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the development of the tourism industry in the Philippines and in particular the role of the state in that process. It is argued that state intervention in the industry has been the central factor in determining the extent and structure of the Philippine tourism industry.

Studies on the tourism industry generally have tended to focus on the social, economic and political impact of tourism on third world countries such as the Philippines. These studies have been content with discussing how the industry in a particular country influences the social, economic and political structure of that society. The question of why it is structured in a particular way is largely ignored. Those few studies that have attempted such an analysis have not seriously considered the relationship between state intervention and the structure of the industry. In studies that have considered the state those influenced by structural functionalism have perceived state intervention as occurring to satisfy specific political and economic desires of the political 'elite' and their closest supporters. At the other end of the theoretical spectrum 'radical writers', heavily influenced by dependency theory, have suggested that state intervention occurs to ensure the dominance of foreign capital interests over national interests. The data assembled in this thesis refute both propositions, arguing that the Philippine state not only is a central factor in structuring the tourism industry but that the state has developed policies, strategies and rules designed to directly encourage the Filipino capitalist class to develop the industry.

This thesis is divided into three parts corresponding to historical phases in the development of the industry. Part-I (1946-1972) is an analysis of the republican state and its efforts to establish the tourism industry. It is argued that movements in the broader economy had a profound influence on state intervention in the industry, particularly those aspects relating to the generation of foreign exchange and investment opportunities for local investors. It is further argued that state intervention has been an important factor in ensuring that it was Filipino capital investment that established the industry.

Part II (1972-81) is an analysis of the New Society' and its efforts to expand the tourism industry. It is argued that economic development plans of the new society elevated those sectors of the economy able to generate foreign exchange and investment opportunities for local capitalists to centre stage in the political economy of the Philippines. It is further argued that state intervention has been an important factor in ensuring that it was Filipino capital investment that was the major participant in the expansion of the industry.

Part III (1980- ) is an analysis of the State's efforts to preserve capital investment in the industry from collapse. It is argued that the severe recession afflicting the Philippines in the 1980's has put even more emphasis on those industries capable of earning foreign exchange. It is further argued that the state is not only concerned with establishing and expanding local capital investment but also in preserving that investment when it's viability is threatened.

Essentially then this thesis indicates that the Philippine state plays an important role in developing and structuring the tourism industry and that a major objective of the state is to structure the industry around the interests of the Filipino capitalist class.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Inquiry
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: repository@murdoch.edu.au. Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Robison, Richard
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/51236
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