Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization)

Creating Value of Goods and Services in the “Andaman and Southern Islands”

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          Although the “Andaman and Southern Islands” is a high-end tourist destination popular among both Thai and international tourists, the area must undergo continuous development to be competent and unique from other destinations. Without development, the popularity of the Andaman and Southern Islands may gradually decrease.



          The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization), or DASTA, is dedicated to improve the products and services of the “Andaman and Southern Islands” – with the objective of strengthening the attractiveness and core competencies of the tourist destination.

          Dr. Chumpol Musikanont, Deputy Director of DASTA, discusses the diversity and uniqueness in lifestyle, culture, and traditions among the five provinces of the “Andaman and Southern Islands” region – Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Satun, and Trang. DASTA shall collaborate with the public sector, private sector, and academic institutions to identify the core competencies and differences of each province – using the findings to create value to the region’s products and services. These endeavors shall create an impression among tourists, leading to tourism growth according to the standards of CBT Thailand.

Dr. Chumpol Musikanont


          Maitree Phuttawong, Operational Director of DASTA Region 9, states that each province has its own unique beauty, lifestyle, and culture – despite their common proximity to the sea. Each province also has tourist attractions rich with art and multiculturalism. To create a lasting impression among tourists, each city must be developed in tandem with its unique tourist attractions. 

          The province of Phuket, the central attraction of the “Andaman and Southern Islands” cluster, focuses its efforts on developing marketing competitiveness. Despite its modern facilities, Southern Phuket maintains its unique Chino-Portuguese architecture – an art and cultural feature which attracts visitors to learn more of the city’s history.

          The province of Krabi focuses its development in Khlong Thom district. The highlight of the district is the “Hot Spring Waterfall,” which cannot be found anyone else in Thailand. It is formed by water flowing through the swamp forest coming into contact with a fault in the earth’s crust, which releases heat into the water. Moreover, Khlong Thom contains natural hot springs with an average temperature of 38-45 degrees Celsius. DASTA creates additional value on the hot springs by underscoring their health benefits, which include alleviating knee pains and promoting blood circulation. The organization also has plans to propose developing Khlong Thom into a spa city. 


          Tourists can also observe and study the history of the “Antique Sun God Bead,” a cultural heritage which reflects the prosperous period of Krabi. The province is one of the most ancient and crucial archaeological sites of Southeast Asia, with areas connecting to ancient communities.

          Phang Nga is an old city, with charming and classic Chino-Portuguese buildings on the five main roads of the province – Sri Takua Pa Road, Udomtara Road, Klan Kaew Road, Montree 2 Road, and Na Muang Road. The city also has historical stories indicating the cultural interconnectedness of the region.

          Another attraction in Phang Nga is “Rommanee Hot Spring,” situated in the mountains of Rommanee subdistrict, Kapong district. With temperatures reaching 80 degrees Celsius, the hot spring is ideal for boiling “Onsen Eggs” and bathing to provide muscle pain relief. Phang Nga is also conducting studies to develop interconnected tourism with Malaysia. 

          Satun province has geoparks which connect the value of the earth to the wellbeing of the community. These geoparks must be collaboratively managed in order to continue disseminating knowledge to cultivate values of conservation and sustainable development.

          Trang province is an old town, which used to serve as the port city of Portugal. Kantang district of Trang province has great potential for attracting tourists due to its facilities and unique gastronomy. These core competencies, however, have never been marketed and publicized among tourists.

          According to Maitree, DASTA shall continue to identify the identities and uniqueness of each community to develop selling points. For example, the hot springs in the southern islands require the development of an intriguing story to attract tourists. This is because many countries, such as Japan, also contain hot springs. The simple fact that southern Thailand consists of numerous hot springs is insufficient to attract tourists.

          Thus, DASTA seeks to create a story and additional value on the hot springs by highlighting their health benefits – the rich minerals in the hot springs are able to provide relief for illnesses. The organization collaborated with academic institutions to conduct research on the hot springs, with findings confirming that the minerals in the water are able to provide muscle and knee pain relief. This helps differentiate the hot springs in southern Thailand from those of other countries, paving the way for health tourism development. 

          Another crucial area is safety of life and assets, cleanliness, and hygiene at the tourist destinations. DASTA collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health to provide knowledge on food hygiene to local communities, while partnering with the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP) to share knowledge on environmental and natural resource conservation. Moreover, the organizations help communities understand how to manage the disposal of wet garbage and dry garbage.