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tourism in the less developed world

This sequence can also be repeated at a national level. Development activities from any one sector compete with development activities from all the other sectors (e.g., agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism). At times, what is believed to be a goal at a national level for bringing about economic development and poverty alleviation, may in fact compromise the utilization of natural resources, remove development opportunities for the poor, or increase costs of labor. This particular issue is common place in less developed countries. Because of increased international competition amongst destinations and the presence of large and increasingly powerful transnational corporations (TNCs) (primarily in accommodation and tour operations sectors), there is increasing concern that the regulatory competence of the nation State is now being superseded by the power of big business (WTO, 1999). It needs to be recognized that the future of tourism is likely to be determined for the most part by the tourism industry, which is dominated by the private sector. To address this escalating imbalance between public and private sector interests, the WTO recommends that governments guide the formation of regulations in a fashion congruent with the primary principles of sustainable tourism (e.g., investment guidelines for TNCs, encouragement for environmental and social impact assessment, encouragement of transfer of information and technologies from TNCs to the local context and encouragement of local human resource utilization) (WTO, 1999). This however, emphasizes the formulation of sustainable tourism strategies, rather than rendering explicit how these strategies can be implemented. This also places a great deal of faith in public sector planning despite such planning having been discredited in recent years because of its apparent failures (Swarbrooke, 1999)