Development towards Sustainable Tourism: A Case Study of Tourism in Nan Province, Thailand

By Rossawan Ponluksanapimol and Yukio Ikemoto.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 31, 2014 $US5.00

This paper examines the situation of tourism in Nan Province, Thailand from a sustainable tourism's perspective and discusses about its tourists' behaviors, their environmental awareness and the marketing effectiveness of the Seven Greens initiative, a program launched by the Thai government to promote sustainable tourism.

The paper evaluates the effectiveness of this initiative and reviews the status of sustainable tourism in Nan, a living ancient city rich in tourism resources and warm-hearted hosts. The city was previously not a well-known tourist destination but it has consistently gained popularity over the recent years among both domestic and overseas tourists as a new “unseen” tourist destination being gradually unraveled. However, as more tourists are visiting the city, many are concerned about the adverse impacts which could be caused by uncontrolled tourist activities.

In the paper, the tourists' behaviors, their reasons for visiting the city, the means of transport, and their intention to re-visit the city are identified and discussed. The publicity and marketing effectiveness of the Seven Greens Initiative launched in the city are then examined to identify any challenges and improvement points for the city to achieve optimum sustainability. Subsequently, tour operators and tourists' responses to questions about the Seven Greens concept, their participation, and their awareness of the environment preservation are analyzed in depth. Lastly, obstacles and assistance needs which have been raised by local tourism-related businesses are identified and highlighted.

It is believed that tourism in Nan still has positive outlook if a well-systemized monitoring and implementing tool together with active collaboration among all tourism-related stakeholders are in place. If all these problems are addressed, Nan could become another model city for sustainable tourism.

Keywords: Green Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, Tourism

The International Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social, and Cultural Context, Volume 9, Issue 4, December 2014, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 31, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 629.568KB)).

Rossawan Ponluksanapimol

PhD Student, Department of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

My work is associated with the sustainability of human development in the tourism industry and how this can improve the sustainability of the industry in Nan Province, Thailand. Having 6 years of experience in the HR field at 2 multi-national firms as an HR advisor, my personal interests lie in Human Capital and Capability Management. My view is that Human Capital is not an easily-transferred asset which needs time to train and nurture before it can perform at the optimal level. Therefore, it is very important that Humans are recognized as one of the most effective tools in bringing about positive changes in a society.

Yukio Ikemoto

Professor, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo, Japan