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New study highlights responsible community-based tourism

Dr. Scott Michael Smith

This pioneering research explores the integration of responsible tourism practices into the business model of Anurak Community Lodge, situated in the rainforests of southern Thailand, and its parent company, YAANA Ventures.

Dr. Scott Michael Smith, has recently unveiled his latest research, From Concept to Practice: Implementing Sustainable Tourism Development at Anurak Community Lodge in Thailand. This research was published in the summer edition of the highly respected Journal of Environmental Tourism and Management. The journal is listed in Scopus, the world’s largest academic abstract and citation database.

This pioneering research explores the integration of responsible tourism practices into the business model of Anurak Community Lodge, situated in the rainforests of southern Thailand, and its parent company, YAANA Ventures. This study combines the precision of field research, the intimacy of in-depth interviews, and the practicality of guest surveys to give readers a holistic view.

“Now is the time for tourism stakeholders to collectively place responsible tourism at the forefront of their agenda,” says Dr. Scott, as he is affectionately known, “Such practices can help stabilize the industry during economic challenges and ensure benefits for local communities and the environment.”

Dr. Scott emphasizes the role of responsible tourism in the face of global disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic. His study underscores the importance of balancing economic progress with environmental and social needs.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that has shaken economies and societies worldwide, Dr. Scott urges stakeholders to find a balance between economic progress and environmental and socio-cultural protection, stating, “The recent lull in tourism activities can be a chance for us to strengthen our approach to responsible tourism in a post-COVID-19 era. It’s about balancing the three pillars: economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Only then can we ensure a robust, profitable, and sustainable tourism industry.”

Dr. Scott’s insights can guide policy development and sustainable tourism practices, proving useful for tourism operators and stakeholders committed to responsible tourism. “Responsible tourism is not just a buzzword—it’s a lifeline for the sustainability of the tourism industry,” Dr. Scott expressed in one of the excerpts from his paper. “The current global situation is a call to action for all tourism stakeholders to band together, prioritize responsible practices, and forge a path towards economic resilience through the means of responsible tourism.” Dr. Scott’s work offers valuable insights that can be instrumental for tourism operators promoting responsible tourism and policymakers crafting sustainable tourism development guidelines.

Last year, Dr Scott presented his case study to students on the Pennsylvania State University-Berks campus based on his research paperAsian Oasis—Mythical Journeys in the Hill Tribe Villages of Northern Thailand published in the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education’s (ICHRIE) Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Cases (JHTC) and is regularly used in classrooms worldwide.

Dr. Scott Michael Smith is a researcher and lecturer at Assumption University, the first international university in Thailand, founded in 1969. He holds a PhD in Tourism Management and is a leading authority in the field of responsible and sustainable community-based tourism in South-East Asia. Dr Scott’s collaboration on Planet Happiness: a Proposition to Address Overtourism and Guide Responsible Tourism, Happiness, Well-being and Sustainability in World Heritage Sites and Beyond provides a methodology and resources to enable host communities and stakeholders to guide tourism development away from overtourism and towards destination happiness, well-being and sustainability.

Andrew J Wood
News Editor

Andrew J Wood was born in Yorkshire England, he is a former hotelier, Skalleague and travel writer. Andrew has 48 years of hospitality and travel experience. Educated at Batley Grammar School and a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. Andrew started his career in London, working with various hotels. His first posting overseas was with Hilton International, in Paris, and he later arrived in Asia in 1991 on Bangkok with his appointment as Director of Marketing at the Shangri-La Hotel and has remained in Thailand ever since. Andrew has also worked with the Royal Garden Resort Group now Anantara (Vice President) and the Landmark Group of Hotels (Vice President of Sales and Marketing). Latterly he has been the General Manager at the Royal Cliff Group of Hotels in Pattaya and the Chaophya Park Hotel Bangkok & Resorts.

A past board member and Director of Skål International (SI), a former National President with SI Thailand and a two time past President of the Bangkok Club. Andrew is the former President of Skål Asia. In 2019, Andrew was awarded SKÅL’s highest award the distinction of Membre D’Honneur.

He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Asia.

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