MKT01906: International Tourism Management for Bangkok
Introducing the destination and outlining the central theme of the case study:
In this present era, tourism has become one of the growing and diversified sectors that play an essential role in the economic, social and cultural development. This assessment is intended to describe the development of tourism in Bangkok, which is the capital of Thailand. The city occupies 1568.7 sq. Km. In central Thailand. The country has more than 8 million populations, which is about 12.6% of the entire population of the country. The central theme of the case study is identifying the impact of tourism activity on the environment. This assessment is intended to describe both the positive effects of tourism and the adverse impact of tourism on the environment.
Describing tourist visitation in the destination:
The number of tourists who visit Thailand has been increased to 38.28 million in the year of 2018 from 35.35 million in the year of 2017. Among these people, the capital of Thailand has welcomed 20.5 million visitors in the year of 2017. In the year 2018, the percentage has been increased by 9.06%. Tourism always plays a vital role in the economy of Thailand. Among the foreign tourists, Thailand has achieved an increasing level of mainland visitors (Bhati & Pearce 2017). Thailand has achieved a total of 10.5 million visitors from mainland China, which is 27.5% tourists among the total number of tourists who have come to 2018. In every quarter of 2018, the number of tourists has been increased. It has been observed that in the first quarter, the number of tourists that have been raised is 15.4% (Denis, Maria & Ekaterina 2018). In the second quarter, Bangkok has achieved 10.91% development in the number of tourists. In the third and fourth quarter, Bangkok has achieved 2.7% development and 3.7% development in the number of tourists.
According to MasterCard GDCI (global destination cities index), Bangkok has achieved the second rank among the most visited cities. In the year of 2017, the report of US News has established the fact that Thailand holds the fourth position based on the adventure value and 7th position based on the cultural heritage (McDowall & Lin 2015). In the year 2016, Bangkok has achieved the first rank among the most visited cities by surpassing London. Different types of tourism for which Bangkok is famous are a cultural tourism, gastronomical tourism and medical tourism. Bangkok arranges various theatrical arts and shows which draws the attention of the customers. As Bangkok is one of the highly developed cities; therefore, there is a lesser number of cultural tourism (McDowall & Choi 2010). People mainly come to Bangkok for enjoying various cultural shows and theatrical performances. The medical infrastructure of Bangkok is very high, that makes the government in developing medical tourism in that place. Along with that, the tourism authority of Thailand has developed gastronomical tourism in Bangkok.
Explanation of the thing that makes a destination attractive to tourists:
Bangkok is the only cosmopolitan cities in Thailand. Bangkok widely attracts tourists with its unique qualities. Bangkok’s climate is hot throughout the year that is ranging from 25 degrees to 30 degrees. This warm weather attracts people from a cold country or a scorching country. In the present day, Bangkok has gone through an explosive growth with the help of a series of master plans since 1960 (Bhati & Pearce 2017). The authorities of Bangkok have not only developed a range of accommodation facilities in the country, but they have also modified the cultural places to draw the attention of the tourists. The transportation system of Bangkok is mainly based on water, which is also one of the reasons behind the tourist’s attraction (Thiumsak & Ruangkanjanases 2016). Due to the water-based transportation system, Bangkok is called the Venice of the east.
By applying the Maslow theory of motivation, a tourist destination attracts customers only then when they have the capacity to satisfying the need of the customers. A tourist has several levels of needs such as relaxation, social, stimulation, self-actualisation and self-esteem needs that they always expect from a tourist destination (Cohen 2015). By offering a range of comfortable, luxurious or pocket-friendly accommodation facilities, Bangkok satisfies the need of the tourist. Bangkok has a vast number of cultural places, and they also arrange the cultural or theatrical program for the visitors which meet the self-esteem needs (Huttasin, Mommaas & Knippenberg 2015). By offering a range of entertainment facilities and satisfying the need for happiness, Bangkok fulfilled the self-actualisation need.
Identifying and describing positive and negative impact from the tourism activity on the host community:
Development of tourism has created a negative impact on the environment of Bangkok, Thailand. Tourism activity has increases congestion in traffic and air pollution, which has generated significant issues in the living quality and urban environment in Bangkok (Ushakov 2014). Though Bangkok has tried hard to maintain sustainability by giving another transportation facility such as cycling or walking. Development of tourism produced 9.745 tonnes of garbage daily. In the last year, wastes have been increased by 9% in Bangkok, which generates an additional 800 tonnes of wastes daily (Bangkok. 2019). Among these vast amounts of waste, only 12% of the residues are recycled in every day, and the remaining (more than 800 tonnes) amount of wastes are used for landfills which are creating different types of pollution in Bangkok (Khan 2017). Bangkok does not have proper public transport system which creates traffic congestion in Bangkok. Moreover, ineffective traffic control system and lousy driving habits also created issues about traffic congestion in Bangkok.
The fact mentioned above also creates a significant issue in Bangkok due to the rising level of tourism in the location. Along with that, tourism has also increased the number of liquid wastes which has polluted most of the waterways and canals. Among those, most of the canals give off an offensive smell and are already anaerobic. The main reason behind it is the majority of the hotels and houses in Bangkok directly discharge their liquid wastes to the waterways and canals (Bangkok. 2019). The housing infrastructure in Bangkok is wholly congested due to the development if tourism, which has also increased the negative impact on the environment of Bangkok.
Along with that, tourism also creates noise pollution in Bangkok. Additionally, tourism also creates land degradations in Bangkok, which creates a negative impact on the environment (Bangkok. 2019). Construction of the recreation, hotels and other types of facilities increases sewage pollution. Therefore, from the description, it can be said that tourism has created a substantial negative impact on the environment of Bangkok.
Along with the negative impact, the development of tourism also creates some positive effect mainly on the economy. Bangkok has become the commercial centre of Thailand along with Southeast Asia for the imports and exports. Tourism is the primary source of the revenue for Bangkok as the number of visitors is increasing in Bangkok. Presently, 8 million resident of the Bangkok is putting on the fresh face for most the business and travellers and they also reclaiming their reputation as the cultural, political, spiritual, diplomatic and educational centre of Thailand (Bloomberg 2019). Bangkok offers a pocket-friendly accommodation facility to the tourists who help tourists in completing their tour within lesser possible costs that allow the economy of Bangkok in achieving an active growth (Vassanadumrongdee & Kittipongvises 2018). Development of tourism in Bangkok not only helps the residents in earning, but it also helps in increasing the employment opportunity in Bangkok.
There is a vast number of hotels in Bangkok that hires a lot of staff in offering a useful service to the customers (Muscat 2016). Developing tourism in a location is highly influential in promoting cultural awareness’s and preserving the local traditions and cultures (Prăvălie 2016). Therefore, tourism opportunity in Bangkok helps spread awareness about the culture. Moreover, the money that is generally earned from a particular place can help the government in improving the local infrastructure of that specific location. Therefore, tourism not only contributes to the development of economic activities, but it also generated more revenue and employment, which plays a significant role in the development of a particular location. In all over Thailand, the situation is the same. That means the number of Chinese visitors has been reduced all over Thailand.
Identification of the critical issues that occur at the location related to destination and tourism development:
The rapid growth of tourism in a particular location sometimes creates some concerns about safety. For earning more amount of money, a tourist destination does not provide more concentration on the safety of the tourists, which sometimes becomes the reason of accident in the tourist destination. Recently, a tour boat accident in the Phuket has not only alarmingly reduces the number of Chinese visitors in the Phuket but also Bangkok. This incident happened in the tour boat in July, which killed a dozen of Chinese visitors due to safety concern (South China Morning Post, 2019). This lack of safety concern of Thailand has made Chinese visitors in avoiding the entire Thailand, which also includes Bangkok. By applying the Maslow hierarchy of needs on tourism, it can be said that a tourist mainly attracted to that destination where they can achieve sufficient safety and security. According to Gong, Detchkhajornjaroensri and Knight (2019), safety and security are always foremost in developing better quality in tourism. The success or failure of the tourist destination is dependent upon the provision of a safe and secure environment to the visitors. However, it is observed that Thailand has become unsuccessful in providing enough security to the travellers that have created an unwanted situation. The negative growth in the arrival of Chinese tourists has created a downside risk in the second half of 2018. Slowing down of tourism and the impact of the trade disputes has decreased the number of customers in Bangkok that has reduced the economic growth by 4.2% (South China Morning Post 2019). This is because Chinese travellers contribute 2.09 trillion baht towards the economy of Thailand, which is very high compared to another country. There were seven to twelve flights per day to Krabi from China, but now it has been reduced to three flights every day. Among these flights, some flights get two to three borders on their plane. This fact has created a higher level in the tourism business of Bangkok.
Moreover, dust pollution has shrouded in Bangkok since December 2018. The current condition of Bangkok is not good because the number of Chinese tourists has been alarmingly reduced due to the boat accident (Skift 2019). After the boat accident, dust pollution had created a wrong impression on the tourists, which has made them entirely de-motivated to visit Bangkok (King & Lertnapakun 2019). The intensity of smog is not the same in every place. According to the pollution control department of Thailand, there are some areas in Bangkok, such as Silom are getting more smog than other sites. The pollution control department estimates that vehicle emission and heavy construction in Bangkok city is the main reason behind the smog. As there is not a good focus towards the public transport so that the number of vehicles is high in the road of Bangkok which are creating a higher level of air pollution in the country (Skift 2019). Moreover, due to the developmental activities in Bangkok, the numbers of construction sites are increasing in Bangkok. These facts are creating air pollution, which in turns creates dense smog in the area.
The current situation has been created due to construction work, crop burning, exhaust fumes, trash burning and particular high air pressure. Due to the situation, inbound travel companies have reported that they have not currently received the concerned queries from their partners who are overseas tour operators. They have stated that none of the tour operators has adjusted excursions in Bangkok (Skift 2019). The Kasikorn research centre has said that foreign tourists are shunning travel to Bangkok, and they are shifting to the other destination in Thailand due to the smog. The condition has now begun worse so that the foreign media has started reporting Bangkok as one of the top 10 worse cities whose dust level has exceeded the standard of safety (Skift 2019). Bangkok city welcomed five million visitors every month. This development of tourism has made more air pollution in the country. The smog that is generated in Bangkok creates long term impact on public health and increases the risk of illness in the country.
Two policy implication which stems from tourism for the destination:
For reducing the unwanted incidents that are caused due to sacrificed security, it is necessary for the tourism department of Thailand in implementing a policy for tourist safety. The tourism department of Thailand needs to develop a firm policy for the tour conductor who arranges a tour for the travellers on the boat so that they can effectively maintain the security for the travellers (One Mile at a Time 2019). Moreover, there are not any insurance for the travellers, therefore, arranging insurance for every traveller is essential. The tourism ministry of Thailand has mentioned that they are planning to add mandatory health insurance fee to all the foreign visitors. For regaining the previous growth of tourism, it is essential for tourism ministry in offering free health insurance to international visitors in the initial stage so that it can attract tourists. Chinese travellers have been destructed from Bangkok after observing the accidents (One Mile at a Time 2019). In this situation, for attracting more number of Chinese tourists in the location, it is essential to offer more advantages to the Chinese travellers. Thailand must arrange free visa policy for the Chinese travellers so that they can be attracted towards this place.
Air pollution is choking Bangkok; therefore, for reducing the impact of air pollution, it is crucial to implement a better policy in Bangkok. For reducing the effects of pollution, it is always necessary for the government in enforcing the pollution regulations (Climate & Clean Air Coalition 2019). It is highly relevant to implement a policy for controlling the emission in Bangkok. The policy needs to be applied for clamping down the vehicles that pollute heavily and deployed the military and police in inspecting inclinators and the factories. The pollution of air pollution needs to include various solution to air pollution such as cloud seeding so that it can provide temporary relief from air pollution (Climate & Clean Air Coalition 2019). The air pollution law needs to develop some effective measures based on which the most polluting industry and organisation in Bangkok can be identified so that they can be requested to reduce pollution.
The above description has concluded the fact that tourism not only helps a particular country in developing its economy, but it also creates some negative impact on the environment. The analysis mentioned above has demonstrated that travellers have specific needs from a tourist destination; therefore, for attracting travellers towards a tourist destination, it is always necessary for satisfying different needs such as safety and security-related needs, entertainment related needs and self-actualisation needs. Moreover, the comfort, hygiene and pollution in a tourist destination are the factors that also create an impact on the tourist's attractions. Therefore, for satisfying the need of the travellers, it is always necessary for developing a policy to increase environmental sustainability.