Apivantanaporn, Thanan and John Walsh, “Visitors’ Opinions of a Low Carbon Island Destination in Thailand,” paper to be presented at the International Conference on Commerce, Financial Markets and Corporate Governance/2nd International Conference on Research Methods in Management and Social Sciences (Shinawatra University, Thailand: February 7th, 2015).
The island destination Koh Mak is one of the tourist resorts selected by the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) to undertake various activities as part of the low carbon concept. This represents one of several policy initiatives in Thailand to stimulate different parts of the country for tourism and different types of tourist interactions. Koh Mak is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand that is part of a chain of islands lined by a network of ferry services. Most of the land is owned by a small number of families who have generally agreed to maintain the island as a mostly quiet, family-based location without extensive exploitation or development. This paper resorts on results obtained from a survey of 400 holiday-makers on Koh Mak in a variety of demographic categories. The purpose of the survey was to identify levels of customer satisfaction and, also, the extent to which the brand image of Koh Mak meets the awareness and expectations of visitors as a low carbon destination. Both domestic and international students were included in the survey. The results are described in the context of DASTA’s efforts in promoting low carbon destinations and policy implications and recommendations are drawn from the results.
Keywords: DASTA, island tourism, low carbon tourism, sustainable development, Thailand