Conclusion : Prospects for tourism in Asia
Michael Hall, C.
Page, Stephen J.
One of the immediate problems the researcher faces in reconstructing patterns of tourism visitation, activity and expenditure is the absence of up-to-date, reliable and consistent tourism statistics. Whilst the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Pacic Asia Tourism Association (PATA) perform a valuable role in collating visitor statistics and in encouraging destinations to adapt appropriate methodologies to enumerate tourism arrivals, the authors of the chapters in this book frequently faced problems in accessing reliable, up-to-date and meaningful tourism data. At a time when many destinations seek to encourage inward investment, governments need to acknowledge the necessity of accurate and authoritative tourism statistics to improve business condence in major tourism investment destinations. Without easy access to such data, investors are likely to require additional inducements to make any contribution to inward investment, while assessments of the wider social and environmental impacts of tourism will also occur within a research vacuum – assuming it occurs at all outside of academic research. There are a number of tourism concerns in the region which are clearly under-researched. These include not only issues of tourism impacts raised throughout this book and applied concerns such as marketing and governance, but also such issues as the role of multinational corporations in tourism in the region, the contribution of mobility to health issues for both tourists and host populations, the ongoing relationships between tourism and politics, and the inter-relationships between tourism and other forms of development. Signicantly, there is a growing awareness of the emergence of Asian interpretations and understandings of tourism (Winter et al. 2008; Winter 2009a, 2009b, 2013; Chang 2015; Dolezal & Trupp 2015), although there is considerable debate over the uniqueness or even appropriateness of such framings and their implications for tourism (Hall 2011a; Cohen et al. 2014; Chen & Chang 2015; Coles 2015; Cohen & Cohen 2015a, 2015b, 2015c; Hall 2015; King 2015; Dioko 2016).