Diffusion of the Concept of Sustainable Tourism Development: A Case Study on Kret Island, Thailand

Siriphen Dabphet (2010). Diffusion of the Concept of Sustainable Tourism Development: A Case Study on Kret Island, Thailand PhD Thesis, School of Tourism, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Siriphen Dabphet
Thesis Title Diffusion of the Concept of Sustainable Tourism Development: A Case Study on Kret Island, Thailand
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-03
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr. Noel Scott
Dr. Lisa Ruhanen
Total pages 243
Total colour pages 13
Total black and white pages 230
Subjects 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Abstract/Summary Sustainable tourism development is widely accepted as an alternative approach to tourism development in many countries. However, the sustainable tourism development concept remains problematic, in both definitional and operational terms, attributable in part to a lack of effective channels for diffusion and communication of the concept to destination stakeholders. As such, this thesis aims to identify, understand, and describe effective communication mechanisms for the dissemination of the sustainable tourism development concept, with the aim of facilitating a more effective implementation of it. To achieve this, three important issues are addressed. Firstly, identification of destination stakeholders’ understanding of the sustainable tourism development concept; secondly, determination of the communication channels for diffusing the sustainable tourism development concept; and thirdly, identification of the key actors of the social system for transferring information about sustainable tourism development. In exploring these issues, the thesis is underpinned by diffusion of innovations theory, which constitutes an explanatory framework for considering the findings of 55 in-depth interviews with key tourism stakeholders on Kret Island, Thailand. The findings reveal that sustainable tourism development is considered important for tourism development in the destination; however, the implementation of such principles remains problematic as the term is complex and there is no common understanding of its implementation. In terms of the dimensions of sustainable tourism development, while economic, environmental and socio-cultural as the triple-bottom line aspects are still embedded in the concept, there are four additional dimensions of sustainable tourism development found in Kret Island, Thailand; these are the community integration, education, tourist satisfaction, and regulations dimensions. The findings further reveal that diffusion of the sustainable tourism development concept occurs through interpersonal as well as media communication, and that while these two types of communication have differing roles to play in disseminating information, there is synergy between them. Key actors in relevant social systems which facilitate dissemination of the sustainable tourism development concept to destination stakeholders are change agents; members of social networks and opinion leaders. Each actor has both differing roles and attributes when it comes to transferring information. The findings of this research provide a contribution to knowledge by highlighting that diffusion of the sustainable tourism development concept is related to aspects and qualities of the concept itself, the communication channels employed in its diffusion, both interpersonal and media, and the relative time of diffusion and adoption within the social system. It also offer some guidelines according to the characteristics of the people involved, the social systems involved and communications channels used for the key stakeholders on the island to develop appropriate communication channels in order to diffuse tourism information regarding sustainable tourism development to other destination stakeholders. Both the contributions and implications of this research have the potential to contribute to better dissemination of information regarding sustainable tourism development to destination stakeholders as a whole.
Keyword sustainable tourism development, diffusion of innovation theory, communication channels, innovation characteristics
Additional Notes 22-23, 101-102,105,108,118-,,9,122,127-128,132,136

 
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Created: Mon, 19 Jul 2010, 10:33:37 EST by Ms Siriphen Dabphet on behalf of Library - Information Access Service