Ecotourism Sustainability in Thailand: a formative evaluation of Andaman Discoveries
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Andaman Discoveries (AD) is a social enterprise based in Southern Thailand that aims to “support community-led development by acting as a bridge to respectful visitors and volunteers through sponsorship of education, conservation, and cultural empowerment.” AD facilitates community-based ecotourism that aims to balance social, economic, and environmental needs, while not acting invasively. AD asked me to explore “how sustainable do local community members find AD’s programs?” and “how can AD ensure and improve program sustainability?” I conducted a formative evaluation to find what has been done well, and what needs improvement. Results show that locals believe AD’s programs improve social, environmental, and economic outcomes, with minimal detrimental impact. Some communities experienced tourism related conflict, but most find tourism’s community building effect far stronger. Primary recommendations include continuing community development and conservation projects consistently; ensuring AD staff attend community meetings regularly; and utilizing codes of conduct to ensure continued visitor respectfulness.
CitationFlam, Anna (2014). Ecotourism Sustainability in Thailand: a formative evaluation of Andaman Discoveries. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8542.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment