DASTA Strengthens Tourism Management for Lasting Sustainability
DASTA develops its designated areas according to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), underscoring the following dimensions to create sustainable revenue for the local community – “environment, economy, and sociocultural development.”
Group Captain Attikul Kongmee, Director General of the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization), disclosed DASTA’s plans to develop designated areas to create tourism value. This involves managing various facets of the community, such as local resources, culture, lifestyle, and economy. Tourist destinations in designated areas shall be developed based on the dimensions of environment, economy, and sociocultural factors to achieve holistic, sustainable growth.
Group Captain Attikul Kongmee
DASTA implements its plans according to the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), applying its international principles to the Thai context in the form of CBT Thailand (Community-Based Tourism Development Criteria of Thailand). The criteria serves as a tool for personnel development, allowing networks to develop its tourism market for higher effectiveness and sustainability.
The criteria of CBT Thailand serve as an essential tool for planning, implementing, and evaluating all developmental efforts pertaining to community-based tourism. The criteria address the following dimensions:
1. Community-Based Tourism Management
2. Economic, Social, and Quality of Life Management
3. Community Cultural Heritage Preservation and Promotion
4. Sustainable and Systematic Natural Resource and Environmental Management
5. Community-Based Tourism Services Quality Management
Thailand is rich with local resources, culture, and lifestyle. It is an undeniable fact that the tourism industry is capable of significantly depleting natural resources. Therefore, it is imperative to use natural resources with prudence and efficiency – while consistently replenishing those resources for the environment.
DASTA believes in empowering the locals to manage their own natural resources. Instead of depleting these resources, communities shall efficiently utilize them to create tourism activities. DASTA trains the communities to develop effective systems for managing natural resources, including waste management, environmental preservation, water management, energy management, and scarce resource management. These areas of management are underscored in both the GSTC and CBT Thailand. DASTA utilizes these criteria to evaluate each community before development to identify areas requiring improvement. The criteria are also used during the post-development phase to evaluate results.
In order to develop communities to reach international standards and awards, DASTA is actively involved in all developmental stages of the communities. This includes brainstorming, preliminary planning, identifying key strengths, evaluating core competencies, supporting personnel development, establishing community development plans, creating value of local products via story-telling and experience design, conducting tourism product and service tests, connecting the community with appropriate tourism markets, evaluating results and lessons-learned with the community based on CBT Thailand and GSTC.
Natural resources, culture, and lifestyle are all treasured heritages of the community. Effective tourism development will create true value and benefits for the local community. With systematic tourism management, communities will be able to apply their culture, lifestyle, and resources to develop effective tourism activities – generating income and strengthening the local economy.