Active Involvement

In document Manual on Module I Introduction to Tourism (Page 121-126)


1) Active Involvement

y Provision of information and advice to prospective investors y Provision of government guarantees to investors

y Legislation which is conducive to foreign investment

y Low interest rate 3) Operational Support

y Increase operational efficiency, for example, provides or finances vocational training, or allows skilled foreign labours to be employed

y Provide visa arrangements for tourists entering into the country

y Negotiate with tourist generating countries on air traffic rights and airlines routes 4) Research and Planning

y Carry out research to find out the most suitable places and ways to develop tourism y Plan for a well-built infrastructure to meet the needs of developing tourism

y Evaluate the resources (attractions, facilities, labour) available in the country for further tourism development


Bodlender J.A. & Gerty M.W. (1992) “Guidelines on Tourism Investment” 2nd ed., Horwath consulting, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Holloway J.C. (1998), “The Business of Tourism”, 5th ed., Longman

5.3.2. Government Departments and Public Tourism Organizations Involved in Tourism

Government departments and some public organizations are involved in tourism policy, planning control and education. For example, travel formalities are administered by consulates and departments in charge of immigration, border security and customs. There are departments responsible for monitoring, licensing and regulating major tourist businesses like hotels and travel intermediaries. Besides, the design and provision of career training in different schools also depend upon the support from the government. In all, the planning and co-ordination of future tourism development require the collaborative efforts of many departments.

The following are the possible tourism related departments and public tourism organizations:

y National tourism organizations (Example: Tourism Canada)

y Regional tourism organizations (different regions/ provinces, Example: Tourism New South Wales, Australia)

y Local tourism organizations (Example: Hong Kong Tourism Board)

y Departments of commerce (Local example: Commerce and Economic Development Bureau)

y Departments of policy (Local example: Tourism Commission) y Marine departments (Local example: Marine Department) y Immigration departments (Local example: Immigration Department)

y Customs departments (Local example: Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department) y Departments of transportation (Local example: Transport Department)

y Departments of aviation (Local example: Civil Aviation Department)

y Departments of agriculture (Local example: Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)

y Health departments (Local example: Department of Health – Travel Health Service) The daily cases of government departments getting involved in tourism can be simply reflected by their provision of services to travelers related to travel formalities, ranging from visa application to immigration. Below are some general examples of travel formalities which require the involvement of different government departments:

Example 1: Passport

The most important travel document is passport. It is the official document with which the citizenship of a tourist can be clearly identified. Passports are issued by their respective sovereign governments, stating the status of citizenship of the holder and some basic personal information such as date of birth, gender, correspondence and emergency contact. The holder’s photo is stuck on the main page with an official stamp/chop certifying the validity of the document. The issue date and valid period of the passport are also stated. The holder needs to renew his/her passport for usually every 10 or longer years.

Each passport contains blank pages, allowing embassies of other sovereign government to stick or stamp their visas, also allowing border officials of the host countries to stamp the dates of entry and exit.

For national security reason, all passports are carefully designed and made to prevent forgery. Modern sophisticated printing technologies such as laser markings help this in a great deal.

A passport is an official document issued by a government to identify an individual, and it is usually issued for five to ten years. In general, the following items can be found in a passport:

y Name of passport holder y Photo of passport holder

y Personal details (e.g. nationality, date of birth) of passport holder y Date of issue

y Issuing authority y Expiry date

Passport’s holder often ignores the expiry date on the passport. Some countries require passports to be valid for a certain period, normally it requires no less than 6 months of validity for travelling abroad.

Example 2: Visa

Along with passports, visas play the most significant role among other formalities. Tourists from an overseas country that has no strong political tie with the host country are often required to apply for a visa from the host country’s embassy or representative office in their home country before departure.

proof of arranged accommodation in the host country are often required. Embassy officials may also ask for other papers such as bank statements (proving the applicant’s financial capacity to travel) and travel insurance receipt. Applicant must submit photo(s) along with the application.

Every visa has a valid period. If a tourist wants to stay in the host country beyond that period, he/she must apply for an extension that can be arranged during the stay. Tourists who want to study abroad may be required to apply instead for a student visa. In this case, documents from the concerned educational institution would be necessary.

A visa specifies the authorized length of stay, the period of validity and the number of entries into the country allowed during the period. To apply for a visa, applicant may need to provide the following supporting documents:

• Proof of sufficient funds to cover the period of stay

• An employer’s certificate (optional)

• A return ticket

• Proof of continuation of the trip

Vaccination certificates (optional)

Example 3: Health Requirements

To prevent the spread of epidemics diseases, tourists departing from a port which has been declared to have an epidemics problem are usually required to present a proof of health or vaccination issued by an officially recognized medical officer or institution. Aged travelers usually need a travel medical insurance receipt or even a medical certificate stating good health in order to get a visa.

The Hong Kong Travel Health Service ( is run by the Port Health Office of the Department of Health. It aims at promoting and protecting the health of travelers as well as preventing the spread of diseases into Hong Kong.

Source: The Health Service, Hong Kong Department of Health

If a passenger arrives in a country without evidence that he has had the necessary vaccinations, he could be:

• denied entry to the country

• put under medical surveillance

• put into quarantine

• vaccinated ‘on the spot’

Example 4: Customs and Taxes/duties

For trade, hygiene and security reasons, different host countries have their list of items of forbidden goods that overseas tourists and their citizens are not allowed to bring into their territory. Dangerous drugs are mostly strictly prohibited. Tourists bringing in firearms or other lethal weapons could face severe penalty or punishment. For example, tourists convicted of the offence of drug trafficking in some countries such as Thailand could face capital punishment.

Taxed items such as tobacco and alcoholic products are usually restricted to a limited amount (in weight or volume). Items other than travelers’ accessories including electrical household appliances may also be taxed. Tourists who wish to travel with their pet(s) often need prior permission, and a proof of vaccination may be required. Some countries such as the United States have strict policies on bringing in agricultural produce or even herbs and plants. Tourists bringing in non-duty-free items need to fill in a custom declaration form and submit it at the point of entry.

Some host countries that adopt sales tax system offer tax refund benefit to tourists who are big spenders, so as to attract them to buy more during the stay. The customs office usually operates refunding procedure before the visitors return home. Most countries also have a policy on the value of both the foreign currency and their national currency that a tourist can bring into and out of their territory.

Usually before arrival, transport operators help the host country distribute customs declaration forms and arrival cards to visitors to fill in and submit at the point of entry.

Example 5: Public Security

Public security is one of the major issues to governments around the world, in particular public security at the airports. Many airports have adopted a tight security measure in

ensuring the safety of air passengers. In addition, The Hong Kong SAR Government provides updated web-based travel advice for Hong Kong residents who are planning to travel aboard -

Suggested link:

Information Services Department

Adoption of new security measures at Hong Kong International Airport

5.3.3. The Case of Hong Kong –

The Role and Work of the Hong Kong SAR Government and Key Local Tourism Organizations

In document Manual on Module I Introduction to Tourism (Page 121-126)