Determinants of Success for Community-based Tourism: The Case of Floating Markets in Thailand
Community involvement has been promoted and studied in diverse disciplines including planning, geography, community development, and others. In the tourism field, the shift from conventional tourism toward sustainable forms of tourism which emphasizes community-based practices in planning, development, and management has been broadly encouraged, especially in the developing world. Variously labeled, but commonly identified as Community-based tourism (CBT), this form of tourism is considered essential for community development, with an ultimate goal of sustainable development. Although many destinations have attempted to translate the CBT concept into practice, its appropriateness and success has been questioned and debated among practitioners and scholars.
This research explores how members of local communities evaluate the CBT success factors discussed in the tourism literature. These factors include: 1) community participation, 2) benefit sharing, 3) tourism resources conservation, 4) partnership and support from within and outside of the community, 5) local ownership, 6) management and leadership, 7) communication and interaction among stakeholders, 8) quality of life, 9) scale of tourism development, and 10) tourist satisfaction. The main objectives of this study are: 1) developing an integrative measurement scales to evaluate the success of a CBT destination, 2) identifying the determinants of success as perceived by local communities at a CBT destination, and 3) examining the differences in CBT success factors between two communities relative to the duration and scale of tourism development, and size of the community.
This dissertation employed mixed methods, combining questionnaire interviews, in-depth qualitative interviews, and participant observation as data collection tools. The fieldwork was conducted in Thailand during February ? June 2010. Amphawa and Bangnoi floating markets were evaluated based on the ten factors. Results show that Amphawa, a larger and longer developed destination, is more successful than Bangnoi, a smaller and newly developed destination. Findings also indicated that the ten factors are important determinants of the success of tourism development in the two communities. Additional factors that the communities identified were advertising and the use of media as well as social networks. The integration of success factors reported in this study is recommended as a guideline for improvements in CBT development and evaluation.