Societal values and local responses to ecotourism amongst villagers in Chiang Rai, Thailand

PALMER, Nicola and CHUAMUANGPHAN, Nipon (2016). Societal values and local responses to ecotourism amongst villagers in Chiang Rai, Thailand. In: Tourism Naturally Conference 2016, Sardinia, Italy, 2nd - 5th October, 2016. (Unpublished)

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This paper examines local responses to ecotourism within the broader context of societal values. It acknowledges a strong contextual dimension to understanding those responses, and supports that with in-depth research on three villages in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. The paper finds that land ownership is a central issue: those without land are those who consider alternative livelihoods to agriculture. Tourism, rather than a development option denied to under-privileged or unconnected members of society, appears to be a key development option for those without land. An uncontested view was expressed that benefits from tourism should be individually received by those involved, rather by communities as a whole. Involvement in tourism decision making was low and only desired by those directly involved, as a means of potentially increasing their personal incomes. For those stakeholders, involvement is dependent on village leaders and the representation that local tourism entrepreneurs and workers have through those leaders (on the basis of shared ethnicity). These findings question an understanding within the tourism development literature that positions host communities as being empowered through tourism, and adds to increasing criticism of aspects of community based tourism.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Service Sector Management
Departments: Sheffield Business School > Department of Service Sector Management
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Depositing User: Nicola Palmer
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2017 15:39
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2018 06:11

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