Title: Local perspectives of community-based tourism: case study from Thailand's Amphawa Floating Market

Authors: Thanathorn Vajirakachorn; Sanjay K. Nepal

Addresses: Department of Tourism Management, School of Business, University of Thai Chamber of Commerce, 126/1 Vibhavadee-Rangsit Rd., Dindaeng, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand ' Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue W, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada

Abstract: Drawing on a case study of a floating market in Central Thailand, this study examines the processes of engaging the local community in the development and promotion of the Amphawa Floating Market (AFM) as a tourist attraction, documents residents' views about community involvement, and determines the impact of tourism on local livelihood and associated costs. Results indicate that successful implementation of a community-based tourism is dependent on a few catalysts, strong economic interests of local residents, and their willingness to work together. As development succeeds, tourist numbers increase, and outsiders are attracted to the area as entrepreneurs and business competitors, the planning process can quickly get out of local control. Community-based tourism faces the same kinds of challenges as mainstream tourism in that economic interests outweigh environmental and social concerns, and that local communities tend to be less proactive as development proceeds beyond the initial stage.

Keywords: Thailand; Amphawa Floating Market; canals; waterways; community engagement; collaboration; community-based tourism; tourism planning; stakeholders; local communities; local perceptions; tourist attractions; community involvement; tourism impact; economic interests; environmental concerns; social concerns.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2014.065597

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2014 Vol.3 No.4, pp.342 - 356

Received: 01 Mar 2014
Accepted: 07 Mar 2014

Published online: 30 Oct 2014 *

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