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Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 313–333, 2004  2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Printed in Great Britain 0160-7383/$30.00

doi:10.1016/j.annals.2003.12.001

TOURISM PLANNING IN SPAIN
Evolution and Perspectives
Josep A. Ivars Baidal University of Alicante, Spain
Abstract: Spain’s democratization and decentralization process duringthe late 70s opened new ways for regional tourism planning, on a scale that had been neglected in the context of Franco’s regime’s centralist policy. Twenty years after the transfer of powers to autonomous communities started, the results obtained in regional planning matters are uneven and, in general, scant. The consolidation of regional tourism policies shows its weakest point in the field ofplanning. Among the causes of this situation is the difficulty of fitting the various (sectorial, territorial, economic, sociocultural, or environmental) dimensions of tourism within the present distribution of powers, this being a problem that requires coordinated and truly operative political and technical solutions. Keywords: regional planning, policy, planning approaches, coordination, regionaldevelopment.  2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. ´ ´ Resume: La planification du tourisme en Espagne: evolution et perspectives. La democratis´ ´ ation et la decentralisation de l’Espagne pendant la seconde moitie des annees soixante-dix ´ ´ ´ a ouvert de nouvelles possibilites pour la planification regionale du tourisme, une echelle ´ ´ ´ negligee dans la politique centraliste du regime deFranco. Plus de 20 ans apres le debut ´ ´ ´ ` ´ de la cession des competences en tourisme aux Communautes Autonomes, les resultats ob´ ´ ´ tenus en matiere de planification regionale sont variables et, en general, limites. La consoli` ´ ´ ´ ´ dation des politiques regionales du tourisme montre son point le plus faible en matiere de ´ ` planification. Parmi les causes de cette situation, il convient desouligner la difficulte d’in´ tegrer les differentes dimensions du fait touristique (sectorielles, territoriales, economiques, ´ ´ ´ socioculturelles ou de l’environnement) dans l’actuelle distribution des competences, pro´ bleme qui reclame des solutions politiques et des techniques coordonnees et vraiment appli` ´ ´ ´ s: planification regionale, politique, approches a la planification, coordicables.Mots-cle ´ ` nation, developpement regional.  2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. ´ ´

INTRODUCTION Regional tourism planning is differentiated by a particular geographical scale. However, the “region” as a concept applied to tourism spaces is somehow ambiguous and imprecise. This problem is closely linked with the need to better systematize spatial concepts (Vera, Anton, Lopez and Marchena1997), whose deficiencies contrast with ´ the considerable progress experienced in planning methodology (Dredge 1999). The planning scale used in this paper is defined by

Josep Ivars is Doctor in Geography. He is a researcher in the Tourism School at the Alicante University (PO Box 99, 03080 Alicante, Spain. Email ) and Associate Lecturer in the Geographical Analysis Department. His currentresearch interests focus on tourism planning, policy, and public management. He combines his teaching activity with professional participation in tourism planning processes. 313

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Table 1. Tourism in Spain: Key Figures
International Tourist Arrivals, 2001 (million) International Tourism Receipts, 2001 (billion) Compensation of Spain’s commercial deficit by tourism balanceTourism Contribution to GDP, 1999 Percentage of tourism-based employment over total working population, 1999 Hotel beds, 1999 (million) Bed nights in hotel supply, 2001 (million) Domestic Trips, 2001 (million) 49.5 7.1 % world market share 32.9 7.1 % world market share 81.5% (Balance: Income – Expenses related to tourism) 12.1% 9.3% 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs 1.28 222.7 61% of foreign...
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