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Sample Phd Tourism Dissertation Proposal

Published by at December 12th, 2022 , Revised On March 20, 2024

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Importance of Sustainable Tourism in the Developing Countries: Analysis of Practices and Challenges in the Case Study of Thailand



Undoubtedly, the tourism industry holds the likelihood of income opportunities and increased employment, particularly for citizens living in the urban areas of developing countries. In this regard, Meyer (2013) stated that tourism is one of the essential industries that contribute to promoting economic development through creating employment that increases the income of people and is hence considered an important factor in the development of developing economies.

As in developing countries like Thailand, the economy is largely dependent on the tourism industry and approximately 25 million tourists visited Thailand in 2018 and generating 1.2 trillion in revenues with tourism activity across Thailand. It is further stated by Biggs, Hall, and Stoeckl (2012) that the economy of Thailand is largely supported by the tourism industry and thus, the government has taken several effective initiatives to implement sustainability in the tourism industry. However, there are still certain challenges that are posing threat to the tourism industry of Thailand regarding its effectiveness and profitability.

In particular, Phuket Island in Southern Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for tourism. The attractive places and beautiful scenes attract tourists to visit and generate revenue for this Island. However, certain factors or issues are affecting consistently the sustainability of tourism and reducing the tourists’ attention to Phuket.

Concerning this, Sakolnakorn, Naipinit, and Kroeksakul (2013) stated that long-term threats and issues that the tourism industry of Phuket is facing include political issues, regional and local management, accidents and traffic, waste management, and healthcare, water management, deterioration of local culture, competition between local firms and international businesses.

All these factors are making Thailand tourism less attractive, particularly in the Phuket province. According to Wongtada and Krairit (2017), Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation intends to formulate several effective policies and effectively implement a tourism development plan for Phuket to maintain the attractiveness and sustainability of this Island.

This development plan is likely to address the sustainability issue of Phuket’s environmental, political, and social landscapes, along with the infrastructure development that will eventually increase the standards of services related to the tourism industry in Phuket. The following research thus intends to analyse the importance of sustainable tourism in Phuket and what are the challenges and practices the Phuket government is adopting to address the issues related to tourism management.

Research Question

Based on supporting evidence, the researcher is likely to address the following research question:

What challenges does the tourism industry in Phuket facing to implement sustainable tourism management?

Aim and Objectives

The following research aims to analyse the importance of sustainable tourism in Phuket, Thailand. Following research objectives have been highlighted that will support the researcher to achieve the main aim of the study:

To analyse the factors or challenges that are affecting the management of sustainable tourism in Phuket

To examine the importance of sustainable tourism in Phuket and how the Phuket Provincial government manages the sustainability of the tourism industry

To provide recommendations to the Phuket Provincial government that how they can address the issues and promote sustainable tourism management

Literature Review

Is stated by Choi and Turk (2011) that UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) has put a great emphasises on the sustainability of the tourism industry and particularly suggested to developing countries that all tourism organisations should implement quality standards in order to enhance the overall quality of tourism products and services such as restaurants, accommodation, location, infrastructure development.

Concerning this, Mowforth and Munt (2015) stated that sustainable tourism is a great concept that has achieved high prominence in the contemporary tourism industry as it emphasises the implementation of quality standards in the tourism sector in order to promote competitiveness and provide reliable and valuable tourism services to the tourist.

In addition to this, Harris, Williams, and Griffin (2012) stated that the concept of sustainable tourism has acquired great attention in developing countries for making their tourism industry competitive and increasing the demand locally as well as internationally. However, certain challenges are affecting the tourism sector in a negative way such as improper waste management, traffic jams and accidents, taxation, shortage of labour, and lack of political and government support for the growth and development of the tourism sector.

For example, Ping (2011) stated that the growing population in Phuket has increased the problems of traffic jams and waste management due to narrow roads available for the vehicle. These issues are affecting both local and international tourists and thus; reducing the attractiveness and competitiveness of Phuket’s tourism industry. In addition to this, it is also stated that the implementation of sustainability in Phuket’s tourism industry is a great concern as the local government is not taking any action regarding these problems and unintentionally supporting the destruction of natural resources, pollution, and traffic jams, etc.

Larsen, Calgaro, and Thomalla (2011) support this statement and stated that double taxation is also a major problem for tourists as they have to pay taxes to both local as well as national administrative organisations for visiting the Phuket with the purpose of tourism. In order to address these issues, Phuket Provincial Government needs to plan and implement a development plan as soon as possible for making Phuket’s tourism industry more stable and competitive.

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The methodology that will be used by the researcher in this research study is described in the sections below:

Research Philosophy

Among different types of research philosophies, the research will adopt interpretivism research philosophy as per the nature of the study which is a secondary qualitative study. Interpretivism will allow the researcher to analyse and interpret the aspects of sustainable tourism in Phuket, Thailand based on human preferences and observation. This philosophy will also make it researchable to collect data regarding the factors affecting sustainable tourism in Phuket, Thailand based on emphasising analysis of qualitative data over quantitative data.

Research Approach

As per the nature of the study, the researcher will use inductive reasoning in order to analyse the importance of sustainable tourism in relation to the case study of Phuket, Thailand. This approach will allow the researcher to analyse factors affecting the sustainability of tourism and narrow down the research focus from the special case of Phuket to the general principle of Thailand’s tourism industry.

Research Design

In this research, the researcher will adopt a qualitative research design in order to analyse the factors that are posing threat to sustainable tourism in Phuket, Thailand. The adoption of a qualitative research design will allow researchers to gain insight and data from a case study of Phuket in order to examine the significance of the tourism industry in the environmental, physical, and social development of Phuket province in Thailand.

Research Strategy

The research strategy that will be adopted by the research in this study is a case study in which the researcher will analyse the sustainability of Phuket’s tourism industry on the basis of annual reports and government published data. A case study is a secondary research strategy that will allow the researcher to gain available data in relation to Phuket’s tourism industry.

Data Collection Method

As mentioned above, the researcher is particularly focused on analysing the case study of Phuket’s tourism industry thus; the researcher will collect data from secondary sources such as books, articles, journals, annual reports, and websites of organisations that are engaged in providing tourism and tourism-related services in Phuket. All these secondary sources will allow the researcher to analyse the significance of sustainability in Phuket’s tourism industry.

Data Analysis Technique

After collecting the data from secondary sources, the research will use the content analysis technique to analyse the content that will be obtained from viable and authentic sources regarding sustainable tourism management in the case study of Phuket, Thailand. The researcher will make interpretations based on content published in available sources and existing literature.

Research Limitations

Several limitations might be encountered by the researcher during the execution of the following research study. However, inaccessibility to the data available from secondary sources like annual reports, websites, and journals will make the researcher unable to attain the objectives set for this particular study and will cause a major restriction for the researcher in the completion of the research successfully.

Time Schedule for Research

The schedule that is allocated for the whole research study is based on activities that need to be done on the assigned date or deadline as defined below mentioned table:



Biggs, D., Hall, C.M. and Stoeckl, N., 2012. The resilience of formal and informal tourism enterprises to disasters: reef tourism in Phuket, Thailand. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 20(5), pp.645-665.

Choi, H.C. and Turk, E.S., 2011. Sustainability indicators for managing community tourism. In Quality-of-life community indicators for parks, recreation and tourism management (pp. 115-140). Springer, Dordrecht.

Harris, R., Williams, P. and Griffin, T. eds., 2012. Sustainable tourism. Routledge.

Larsen, R.K., Calgaro, E. and Thomalla, F., 2011. Governing resilience building in Thailand’s tourism-dependent coastal communities: Conceptualising stakeholder agency in social-ecological systems. Global Environmental Change, 21(2), pp.481-491.

Meyer, D., 2013. Pro-poor tourism: From leakages to linkages. A conceptual framework for creating linkages between the accommodation sector and ‘poor’neighbouring communities. In Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals (pp. 131-156). Routledge.

Mowforth, M. and Munt, I., 2015. Tourism and sustainability: Development, globalisation and new tourism in the third world. Routledge.

Ping, X., 2011. Environmental Problems and Green Lifestyles in Thailand. Assumption University [pdf] Retrieved from:. http://www. nanzan-u. ac. jp/English/aseaccu/venue/pdf/2011_05. pdf.

Sakolnakorn, T.P.N., Naipinit, A. and Kroeksakul, P., 2013. Sustainable tourism development and management in the Phuket province, Thailand. Asian Social Science, 9(7), p.75.

Wongtada, N. and Krairit, D., 2017. Survival of a market leader in a regional integration of emerging economies: A case study of the tourism industry in Thailand. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 23(1).

Frequently Asked Questions

Sustainable tourism is crucial for developing countries as it promotes economic growth, preserves natural resources, and empowers local communities. It fosters long-term development, protects cultural heritage, and mitigates negative environmental impacts, ensuring a more resilient and equitable future.

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