Apivantanaporn, Thanan and John Walsh, “Evaluation of the Institutional Approach to Tourism Policy Development: The Case of the Low Carbon Island Koh Mak, Thailand,” International Journal of Development and Management Sciences, Vol.1, No.1 (December, 2016), pp.15-37, available at: http://crcltd.org/images/Evaluation%20of%20the%20Institutional%20Approach%20to%20Tourism%20Policy%20Development.pdf.
It is not by accident that tourism has become a leading element in the economic development of Thailand. Although tourism relies principally upon the private sector, it has been significantly supported by public sector agencies, principally the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). The TAT has designed various strategies to promote Thailand as a destination overall and in terms of specific sites within the country. Its attention has also been directed towards the promotion of domestic tourism through the creative city concept and, with the assistance of Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Authority (DASTA), the low carbon tourism concept. Other government agencies have assisted in the promotion of health tourism and it is possible that the special economic zone and industrial cluster policies will also have an impact on tourism development. At a time when the rest of the economy is faltering, tourism has become even more important and it is necessary to understand how policy for tourism development is evolving to deal with changing circumstances. This paper aims to document and evaluate tourism development policy in Thailand by identifying the institutions involved in formulating and enacting such policy and evaluating both the projects and plans involved and the implementation of them. Policy recommendations are drawn from the analysis. Keywords: Economic Development, Institutions, Public Sector, Thailand, Tourism Policy