TOURISM AND STRATEGIC PLANNING: LEARNING FROM THE CHINESE PROVINCE OF HAINAN TO IMPROVE THE SYRIAN COASTAL REGION
Free (open access)
535 - 556
BASHAR DAYOUB, PEIFENG YANG, ALAA DAYOUB, TAREK BARAKAT, HE LI
This paper is an analytical study of tourism plans of China’s Hainan Province and the Syrian coastal region before the Syrian war commenced in 2011. It compares the two types of tourism (in the Mediterranean and the Asia Pacific) and concludes with an integrated model of successful regional tourism. The focus is on strategic plans of the last two decades and how they facilitate tourism, specifically, how strategic plans can be translated into sustainable tourism development projects in both regions. The strategic plan in the Chinese case considers environmental, economic, institutional, and social characteristics of tourism development, which determines the necessary infrastructure and environment for the further development of tourism. This is contrasted with the absence of such a strategy in the case of Syria. Data were drawn from in-depth interviews, field observations, and document analysis. Qualitative research techniques were used to analyze the available data and to form a detailed description of the past, present, and future potential for tourism in the two regions. The study measures transportation, land use/land cover patterns, tourism and tourism development, urban development, and strategic plans. It applied the lessons learned from Chinese tourism innovations in Hainan to propose an executive plan for sustainable tourism development in the Syrian coastal region once the present war has ended. This requires the active participation of all relevant stakeholders from almost every domain despite differing interests. It further requires improving the integration of three separate developmental factors (social, environmental, and economic) as complementary rather than conflicting elements.
Syrian coastal region, Syria, Hainan province, China, strategic plans, development, policy, planning