Methodology Chapter: Model to Develop Sustainable Marine Tourism in Similan Island Thailand

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¶ … sustainable marine tourism in Similan Island, Thailand

Thailand is located in the South-East Asia between the countries of Laos and Cambodia to the East, Burma (Republic of Myanmar) to the West, and Malaysia to the South around the Gulf of Thailand (Chien and Fitzgerald, 2006). Thailand moreover is a wonderful kingdom, where the country is combines with the good characteristic of Buddhist temples, exotic wildlife and amazing islands. Together with an interesting history and a unique culture that includes enjoyable Thai food and Thai massage. Furthermore, Thailand is considered as a modern capital city, and friendly people who epitomize Thailand's "land of smiles" reputation (Tourism Authority of Thailand, 2011). Therefore, there are more than ten million of foreign tourists visiting each year (Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 2011). There are some of the most popular destinations which included the capital Bangkok, Chiang-Mai in the North, and the Andaman Coast Region in the South, which contain Phuket, Krabi, and Phang-nga. However, these three popular destinations offering different experience for different customers, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the main governing body for tourism in Thailand, has successfully packaged each destination to attract different customer such as a modern cosmopolitan city for culture and shopping, an ancient capital of Siam Empire for historical tours and native culture, and a tropical paradise of unending sandy beaches and fantastic scuba diving in the island (Chien and Fitzgerald, 2006). From this point, the international tourism is become an important part of the whole Thailand economic in term of currency inflow which is not less than 1,000,000 baht per year ( National news bureau of Thailand, 2003). With the fast move of mass tourism and unplanned of Thailand Tourism's boost that aiming only to increase the number of visitor by overlooked the impact of the environment, cultural and social in various destination will later bring the bad outcome for Thailand tourism in the future. Sustainable tourism development, therefore, needed in order to retain beautiful scenery as well as maintaining their cultural and environmental integrity (United Nation Foundation, 2002).

Phang-nga, moreover, is a province that situated in the southern part of Thailand with an area of 4,171 sq.km along the Andaman Sea. The province consisted of long sandy cost, large number of limestone islands and mountains that make it one of the most scenic provinces of Thailand. Moreover, it is the reason why Phang-nga have as many as boasts six national parks, including three on the sea (Thaiways, 2002). Similan Islands is one of the most beautiful islands which is popular among the tourists and consider the islands as a diver's haven. The Similan Islands, moreover, officially called Mu Koh Similan Marine National Park. The islands are also a group of nine-island which located approximately 80km northwest of Phuket. With the charming of the soft corals and clear blue water makes the island is ranking as the 10th world most interesting drive (Asia Web Direct, 2011). The islands is however famous for diving where the place is encouraging the diver to visit each year, it is also boasts some of the most beautiful tropical foliage in Thailand and is the home for much wildlife that is native in this area (Interonline, 2010). Furthermore, the Similan Islands generate the highest revenue compared to other marine national parks in Thailand (DNP, 2003). As a result, more than 50,000 tourists throng to the islands to enjoy the beautiful, seemingly untouched, and uncommercialised natural conditions of the Park's flora and fauna. From this point, therefore, Phang-nga is the best province to taking a sustainable development research and Similan Islands marine national park is the most suitable place to initiate a model of sustainable marine tourism development.

Rational

Tourism industry becomes one of the world's largest industries where income is generated significantly to help the country grow and survive especially in developing countries like Thailand (Phang-nga). As Phang-nga is becoming one of Thailand's most famous tourist destinations among travellers, especially travellers from European countries where people are increasingly concerned about environment and willing to spend more on this travel option in order to substitute and reduce traditional tourism where it causes a negative impact on the environment, society and culture. Furthermore, Phang-nga is a province where the areas are surrounded by an enriched natural beauty, both onshore and underwater, in a still undeveloped and unspoiled environment. However, with the fast growth of mass tourism, visitors look beyond Phuket to Phang- nga so there are signs that Thailand must be careful of the long-term impact of mass tourism and make plans to look forward to preserve sustain this superb scenery. Sustainable tourism, therefore, can lead to maintenance natural beauty and provide many advantages to community members and travel industry as well as to tourists as a whole. The researcher is thinking to take this opportunity to doing a research by investigate the impact of tourism in Similan Islands and present an alternatives idea of sustainable marine tourism development to sustain the island to protect and bring a long beautiful life of the islands both on land and in the sea with the integration of the nearest fishing community members, local government, tour operators and the tourist.

Aim of this study

The aim of this research is to develop a model of sustainable marine tourism in Similan Islands. Furthermore, the aim is also to investigate positive and negative impacts of marine tourism toward environment (in land and in the sea), nearest community, tour operators (stakeholders) and the tourist.

Research Questions

1)

Is the current marketing strategy effective in promoting and increasing marine tourism in Similan Islands?

2)

How do people in Thailand perceive Similan Islands?

3)

Is Similan Islands suitable/safe/exciting & sustainable place to promote marine tourism in Thailand?

4)

How will increased tourism impact the environment in Similan island?

Null Hypotheses

1)

The current marketing strategy in not effective in promoting and increasing tourism to South Korea.

2)

People of Thailand perceive SImilan Island poorly.

3)

1)

Is the current marketing strategy effective in promoting and increasing marine tourism in Similan Islands?

2)

How do people in Thailand perceive Similan Islands?

3)

Similan Islands is not a suitable/safe/exciting & sustainable place to promote tourism in Thailand?

Significance of this study

Since sustainable marine tourism in Similan Islands is an important social and economic phenomenon, this study can be significant at regional, national, and international levels.

The findings of this study will expand the knowledge about sustainable marine tourism.

It will provide valuable information for the policy makers both in the central government and local government to make effective decisions to support and fund tourism programs.

This study and its findings will become an addition to and update of the international research sustainable marine tourism.

Chapter 2: A Literature Review

Sustainable tourism is a concept that only recently has come to the forefront of the development. This is not to say that it has never existed in one form or another, but that the idea of sustainability, and the fragile balance that must be retained in order to both preserve the environment as well as enjoy it and make a living or a business from it, is rather difficult to develop and maintain. From a development standpoint, it is also rather difficult to measure the entire footprint or impact of the development on the environment and local economy or community.

Tao and Wall (2009) have written about a case study involving sustainable tourism development in Taiwan and the importance of incorporating the local culture and community into the development instead of circumventing the local issues that are important to the native population. More specifically, the study shows that the development of an outlet for sustainable tourism must incorporate the idea that the creation of specific jobs is not as sustainable as incorporating the community within the tourism and development on multiple levels. Toa and Wall also state that, "When tourism is introduced into a community, it is important that it complements rather than displaces existing activities." (Tao and Wall, 2009, pg.90). This means that the development must take into account the living and working conditions and demands of the aboriginal people as well as the purveyor of the tourism activities, businesses, and development.

The needs and issues surrounding local cultures and communities are also an important part of sustainable tourism. Coccossis (2008) reiterates this in his article by helping to highlight the fact that the cultural aspects of a particular tourist destination are often the attractions for many tourists. Also, it is important to realize that tourism changes the local cultures, and this change, whether acceptable or unacceptable can be measured and must be considered when planning for the ultimate sustainability of the activities and interactions taking place. In order to limit the change to native cultures it is important to consult with and partner with these communities in a shared stakeholder environment. This is one of the best ways to ensure that the sustainable development is truly sustainable and does… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/model-develop-sustainable-marine-tourism/70173.