Study of potential ecotourism resources: Ban Hua Thang, Muang District, Satun Province, Thailand
African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure
This investigation aimed to study potential ecotourism resources in order to develop the community-based tourism practices of Ban Hua Thang, Satun Province, Thailand. This was a qualitative investigation. Data were gathered from structured interviews, observations, focus-group discussions and documentary analysis. The research sample for this investigation was composed of 80 households and all gathered data were subject to content analysis. The results reveal that Ban Hua Thang has a variety of
... potential ecotourism resources, especially a fertile mangrove forest, which is home to a wide array of natural wildlife. The residents of Ban Hua Thang form close relationships and have a strong cultural identity, which enables easy cooperation in community initiatives. This investigation recommends the promotion of potential tourism development among community members to present the possible benefits for local people. The investigation also encourages the participation of external organisations to help fund and support community-based tourism initiatives in Ban Hua Thang. The local mangrove forest is an obvious selling point of the area and there is considerable potential to develop the site as a knowledge centre and ecotourism attraction. The tangible links between community lifestyle and the local environment could become the basis for tourist activities, which may include shellfish collection, crab hunting, canoeing, swimming, herb gathering and cookery. In order for any tourism initiatives in Ban Hua Thang to become a success, the locals must buy into the premise, must cooperate and must all contribute to the marketing image of Ban Hua Thang as a traditional and eco-friendly tourist destination.