THE POTENTIAL IN DEVELOPING BO SAEN COMMUNITY-BASED ECOTOURISM: AN ANALYSIS USING THE SOAR MODEL
Community-based ecotourism (CBET) became a popular alternative tourism activity post COVID-19. There are a wide range of destinations and activities related to eco-tourism in Thailand. This study aims to explore the potential of the Bo Saen subdistrict in Phang-nga, Thailand, as a CBET destination. SOAR analysis was adopted and the focus group approach was utilized. The key informants were comprised of seven heads from villages, or their representatives, and two locals who worked for the Bo Saen CEBT group. The iterative analyses based on SOAR suggests four key aspects: strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results. Nao, a unique local product, was found as a strength, and strong collaboration with local government was indicated as a key opportunity for the tourism development. In addition, the most compelling aspiration was to present their CBET destination to ASEAN. Successful local markets and the linking of tourism routes would be indicators of CBET success. The research results suggest Bo Saen subdistrict is capable of CBET development. The findings provide practical implications for local government.
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