Multiple Chapters: Needs for Local Participation in Tourism Development in Bueng Kan Province Thailand

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¶ … Local Participation in Tourism Development in Bung Kan Province

The tourism industry is an important element of economic development sector around the world, especially in many developing countries that possess natural resources that are amenable to tourism development. The experiences to date show that besides major metropolitan areas, people living in rural areas of developing countries can also gain benefits from the tourism. These outcomes indicate that around the world, tourism frequently plays a vital role in terms of helping to decrease poverty levels and boost communities' economic development (Hong-Long and Kayat, 2011). Not surprisingly, then, tourism has been advocated for economic development purposes for emerging nations in an increasing number of instances in recent years (Hong-Long and Kayat, 2011).

Developing countries can drive their economic growth by attracting tourists to their various destinations for business or pleasure using any of the many tourism niche approaches available today, including sports (Lindberg, 1991), eco- (Cater, 1993), cultural, heritage, cultural-heritage, or so-called enclave tourism models (Hirsch and Warren, 1999). Irrespective of which model is used, properly implemented and administered, these models can promote increased tourism levels in ways that can help developing nations gain economic benefits and drive economic growth from tourism-generated revenues. For instance, tourists are able to pay for the local foods, accommodation, transportation and so forth; this can be said that tourism sector is the source of large scale economic and is the helpful tool to drive the economic development of the country (Auger, 2011). In addition to the important of tourism sector, tourism sector can also have a positive effect on sociocultural, and environmental outcomes (Yoon, Gursoy, & Chen, 2001). For instance, locals can share their unique cultural practices with tourists and so forth. As tourists travel to the particular destination, a good management and long-term sustainable in tourism sector in particular destination is also important as it can make people visit more and revisit the destination again (Shani, Rivera and Hara, 2009). Therefore, Bung Kan province, located in northeast of Thailand and is the newest province as Thai cabinet just upgraded it as 77th province of Thailand in August, 3 2010 (Bangkokbiznews, 2010). The key to success in applying any of these tourism models, though, is the need to do so in ways that are sustainable, a term that means far more than just ensuring that the resources exist in the future, but rather increasingly includes active stakeholder participation in the process.

Therefore, the opportunity currently exists to facilitate the development of a sustainable tourism industry in Bung Kan Province by preserving natural resources while simultaneously creating tourism attractions that can provide long-term sustainable tourism growth, providing that local residents are afforded a voice in the process. Despite this need, time is of the essence in pursuing these developmental initiatives because there is a great deal of competition for international tourists in Thailand. Current statistics indicate that a growing number of international tourists to Thailand originate in the European Union and these consumers pay a great deal of attention to issues such as sustainable tourism destinations that demonstrate responsible social and environmental practices (Sriburi, 2007), Likewise, in terms of destinations, the 1995 Korean Tourism Annual Report indicated that Japan (26.2 per cent) was the most popular destination, followed by the United States of America (17.2 per cent), China (10.6 per cent), Thailand (8.0 per cent) (Pearce and Butler, 1999). .Therefore, the opportunity exists to promote Bung Kan Province as an international tourism destination in ways that can provide long-term sustainable tourism growth by ensuring local residents are afforded the opportunity to actively participate in the developmental process from the outset.

Political Background to Provincial Initiative

Bung Kan Province contains the Nong Khai district in northeast of Thailand. It is believed that the Nong Khai district has potential in tourism sector for driving the province. As the northern area of Nong khai is located near the Mekong River and close to the border of Thailand and Laos, it is advantageous for the Nong Khai district to promote international trade and investment. In addition, Nong Khai can be said that it is the busiest border crossing point to Laos as they had been established and constructed the bridge between Thai-Laos called "First Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge" in 1994 (Siakit, 2009).

The bridge links between Nong Khai, Thailand and Vientiane, Laos and has a road link between these two countries. There is also daily rail service from Nong Khai to Vientiane. Therefore, it is easy to gain many visitors and has the opportunity in tourism sector to gain many benefits from it. Since, Bung Kan district had separated from Nong Khai province and became province itself, it came into the researcher's thought that Bung Kan province would still has potential for itself to develop tourism sector.

According to Sompong (2011), the vision of Bung Kan Province is to develop the region as a sustainable tourist destination as it is located in northernmost and has nice weather, nice food, and many natural attraction places. It can be seen in this point that Bung Kan Province is ready to develop its tourism sector; however, it is clear that the success of tourism development in Bung Kan Province depends on many factors. The essential part for tourism sector in particular place to be tourist destination is to have a long-term sustainable tourism in a particular place. By having a sustainable tourism in place, there are some vital keys to lead to a sustainable tourism development. It leads to a good management of resource (Patrascu and Ciange, 2010), maintain ecological process and provide fairness and opportunity to local population (Hall and Lew, 1998). However, the main and very vital tool to have a successful sustainable tourism development is the local involvement as local people play an essential role in term of successful tourism planning (Marzuki, 2008). Therefore, this research is considered the local involvement in sustainable tourism development in Bung Kan province.

Research aim

The overarching research aim of this study is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the opportunities for and practice of local participation toward sustainable tourism development in Bung Kan Province.

Objectives

In support of the above-stated aim, the study will be guided by a number of objectives as follows:

1. To investigate the understanding of local people toward the role of tourism industry in Bung Kan province.

2. To identify the needs of local participation in tourism development of Bung Kan province.

3. To explore the positive and negative impact of tourism development regarding the local perception.

Research Questions

To achieve the above-stated research aim and objectives, the study will be guided by the following research questions:

1. What do local citizens view as their role in the tourism industry in Bung Kan Province, Thailand?

2. Do the locals need to participate in the development of tourism in their province?

3. What are the locals' negative or positive perceptions toward tourism development in their province?

To achieve the above-stated research aim and objectives and to formulate timely and informed answers to these research questions, the study will use a triangulated methodology consisting of a review of the relevant literature, a case study of an eco-tourism development initiative in northern Thailand as well as similarly situated regions, and a survey of local residents in the Nong Khai district of Bung Kan Province, Thailand newest province. A triangulated research approach can help promote the trustworthiness of the findings that result (Owen and Demb, 2004), and each component of the research approach is consistent with the guidance provided by Neuman (2003) and other social researchers concerning the need to review the relevant literature (Fraenkel and Wallen, 2001; Thomas, 2004; Wood and Ellis, 2003; Gratton and Jones, 2003; Silverman, 2005) and the usefulness of including case studies in a study to gain insights and make connections that might otherwise go undiscerned (Zikmund, 2000; Leedy, 1997; Burton and Steane, 2004; Feagin, Orum and Sjoberg, 1991).

Literature Review

Sustainable Tourism Development

Sustainable tourism development can be defined in several ways. One definition is the development that can meet the need of the present visitors but also maintain and enhance the opportunity for future generations and their needs (Delisle, 2007). Other definitions of sustainable development typically describe the use, preservation and protection of existing resources along a continuum that places higher priorities on existing needs compared to future needs depending on the unique circumstances that are involved (Mehmetoglu, 2008).

Because the principles of sustainable development include environmental, economic, and social factors, the definition of sustainable development as it applies to a given destination also needs to address issues such as the management of all resources in economic, social and aesthetic needs and also protect the cultural unity, ecological process, biological diversity and life systems (Mehmetoglu, 2008). Furthermore, the definition of sustainable development should include a description concerning how the process can improve the quality of life in local communities and provide new experiences to tourists, all the while protecting the quality of the environment in which… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Needs for Local Participation in Tourism Development in Bueng Kan Province Thailand."  Essaytown.com.  July 14, 2012.  Accessed September 15, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/needs-local-participation-tourism-development/42587.