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Title: Agritourism, rural development and related policy initiatives in Thailand
Author: Srisomyong, Niorn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 5992
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2010
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The study examines agritourism, rural development and related policy initiatives in two case study areas: Rayong and Samut Songkhram provinces in Thailand. It develops and applies an integrative conceptual framework to understand agritourism as a form of rural development and reproduction in the developing world, and also related government policies to encourage agritourism development. While the framework is applied to the case study areas, consideration is also given to its potential relevance more widely in Thailand, in other developing countries and in developed world countries. The framework adopts political economy and agency approaches and it was developed for application and subsequent evaluation in the two case study provinces. Consideration is given to agritourism development and agritourism policy initiatives, and to their relationships with the arenas of production and consumption, the processes of state deregulation and state re-regulation, and the interactions among actors and networks around rural development and the application of agritourism policies. Importantly, it was argued that there is very little existing research in the tourism field using this combined approach. The fieldwork combines varied sources, including in-depth interviews, with these being used to understand the views of actors on agritourism development and the application of government agritourism initiatives in the two case study areas. The collected data were analyzed, interpreted and reported using thematic analysis, which was influenced by the study's conceptual framework and also by issues emerging from the data. Agritourism development in the case study areas was affected by restructuring in their local economies, involving growing economic difficulties for the agricultural sector, new investment in residential development and tourism, and growth in alternative income sources for the rural population. The government's agritourism initiatives were affected by a changing national political and policy context. These interventions assisted the agricultural sector to survive the economic restructuring, providing supplementary income and local markets for their farm produce and crafts. There were gaps between the support required by agritourism operators and the support actually provided, and there were deficiencies in the application of the agritourism policies. The interactions between agritourism operators could be important for business survival, but some groups were set up largely to secure government funds and did not provide each other with substantial support. Agritourism could bring economic benefits for wider rural communities, but it could also encourage community conflicts. Deficiencies in the government's agritourism initiatives sometimes arose from there being so many agencies involved, often in different ministries, and from a lack of coordination.
Supervisor: Bramwell, Bill ; Meyer, Dorothea Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available