University Engagement for Community-based Tourism Development: Case of Hmong Community at Mon Ngor Village, Chiang Mai

Worrasit Tantinipankul, Wanthida Wongreun, Bavornsak Petcharanonda
2017 Asian Journal of Tourism Research  
Mon Ngor village is a community within the responsibility of the Mon Ngor Royal Project Center in Mae Taeng District, Chiangmai Province. The area became well-known because it has a unique natural landscape, including the Mon Ngor mountain peak at Mon Ngor Village, which is one of the top panoramic sightseeing spots in the nation. Due to its unique mountainous landscape and the success of the Royal Project Center's agricultural development, tourists started to visit the area, with resorts and
more » ... with resorts and humble homestays burgeoning in the nearby villages. However, the village and its vicinity are still short of proper management and infrastructure for tourism development in a more sustainable approach although they possess significant cultural heritage-both intangible and tangible. Local community members rarely participate in the business that spearheads the direction of tourism development even though the collaborative team of the Royal Project Foundation, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi and Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna had presented a series of landscape development schemes to them. Therefore, the project was initiated to understand the social contexts of Mon Ngor Villagers and provide support to them with proper expertise to participate in tourism business with sustainable direction. As the field research reveals, communities in the region are facing complex challenges to establish tourism businesses. Most of the villagers are aging farmers who have worked with the Royal Project Foundation for over 40 years, while the younger generations have left to study in towns and rarely return. Moreover, given the Royal Project's focus on single cash crop farming, villagers participating in the project became dependent on the market economy and abandoned their traditional subsistence agricultural practices. This research project in Mon Ngor Village aims to 159 160 Worrasit Tantinipankul, Wanthida Wongreun, and Bavornsak Petcharanonda discuss the dilemma of modern agricultural development and how the communitybased tourism approach could be one of the solutions for the community to sustain its unique way of life. Moreover, it will also illustrate how academic institutions can provide knowledge for local villagers to initiate their business in the direction of community-based tourism that can be developed as part-time vocations along with advanced cultivation to support sustainable livelihoods and stimulate local economic activities in this region.
doi:10.12982/ajtr.2017.0014 fatcat:7g5wjrlanbcw5brrmhoxzmia7q