Narrating Crisis in 1987 and Lessons Not Learned in 2008

  • Anne O’Brien


In Chapter 8 a theoretical framework has been outlined that explains the mechanisms of interlocking regimes and how crisis acts to transmit change between development strategies; in Chapter 10 this new paradigm will be applied to examine the processes of change that occurred in the tourism development regime in the late 1980s and will explore why such radical change failed to occur in 2008. The following analysis will examine how crisis narratives were used to elicit particular policy responses within the Irish tourism industry on two separate occasions: firstly, when crisis was a spur to substantial growth in the sector in the late 1980s; secondly, when crisis narratives were activated to seek not radical change but rather state protection for the sector in the late 2000s. These two socio-economic crises had very different outcomes for the development of the Irish tourism industry because of the manner in which crisis was adapted through the dimensions of the state and industry tourism regimes. In the case of the 1980s’ crisis, the dominant narration of unemployment facilitated the tourism industry in presenting a partial solution to the crisis, in the form of a strategy for employment-creation through tourism industry growth. As a result of policy changes within the industry, between 1987 and 2007 Irish tourism more than tripled its capacity to achieve peak visitor numbers of 7.7 million and more than tripled its size in terms of revenues to €6.45 billion (Fáilte Ireland, 2007).


Tourism Industry Tourism Development Tourism Sector Banking Crisis Visitor Number 
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Copyright information

© Anne O’Brien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne O’Brien
    • 1
  1. 1.Kairos Communications Ltd. and National University of IrelandMaynoothIreland

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