Tourism governance in Amsterdam. A discourse analysis by Tom Jakobs

The current unprecedented scales of tourism growth in the capital of NL, Amsterdam, have led to an increased interest in tourism in the media and in governance. This thesis explores the extent to which discourses affect tourism management within the local administration of Amsterdam. A case study was conducted and analysed through a Foucauldian discourse analysis, to expose the emergence of shifting representations within the construction of discourse. This discourse analysis thereby draws evidence from desk research, interviews with civil servants, and a tourism workshop which was attended and organised by civil servants. The analysis resulted in an economic and a social discourse that emerged from the findings of this research. The economic discourse was co-constituted by a neoliberal ideology that plead for free market logics, and the importance of tourism for economic growth. The social discourse was co-constituted by a mainly progressive ideology, that advocated for more government intervention. Furthermore the analysis showed that the local administration operates democratic rather than bureaucratic, and thereby rejects its neutrality. Altogether, it can be concluded from these findings, that both discourses that emerged in this thesis research, have the ability to govern the conduct of civil servants. Hence, through this process of governmentality, discourse affects tourism management within the local administration of Amsterdam. (LINK TO THESIS: HERE) See also: NRC HANDELSBLAD ARTICLE