University of Tasmania
whole_NitjanateNutcharat2005_thesis.pdf (10.96 MB)

Management of marine national parks for tourism value : a case study of Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park, Thailand

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posted on 2023-05-27, 16:59 authored by Nitjanate, N
Marine Protected Areas (MP As) play an important role in meeting conservation, tourism, and scientific study/education objectives. Most MPAs in Thailand are established as Marine National Parks (MNPs). This study aims to enhance the understanding of the benefits and negative impacts of MNPs in terms of economic, socio-cultural and environmental uses and values, as well as analyse the management status of Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park (MKCMNP), and the effectiveness of existing management objectives in relation to tourism. MKCMNP is located in the Gulf of Thailand. The condition, size and species diversity of its coral reefs are of international significance, and it attracts more than two hundred thousand visitors per year who engage in diving and other activities. Visitor management in the park includes a visitors fee, ferry and boat access, activity management, information centres, zoning management and visitors' services and facilities~ MKCMNP faces management issues relating to tourism development, particularly protection of valued natural resources from over-development by private operators. These issues make achievement of park management objectives difficult. Visitor surveys and an interview with a key informant were conducted to provide information on the effectiveness of tourism management at MKCMNP. Site observation was also undertaken to gain familiarity with the park and to complement the visitor survey data. The visitor survey was administered in two languages (Thai and English) to 162 participants, and assessed visitor behaviour, values and attitudes in order to identify the degree to which existing park management satisfied the needs and expectations of visitors. The survey of visitor attitudes towards management revealed that the communication of management approaches by park education materials and interpretation program are not effective. Visitors perceived that management to achieve the park management objectives was at least partly successful. The worst performing objectives were preventing illegal activities and controlling litter and pollution. The quality of existing visitor facilities should be maintained at the current level, but waste disposal facilities, visitor information centres and information signs should be increased. The interview with the park manager was significant for understanding park management issues related to tourism impacts, sustainable tourism and ecotourism activities. The park manager revealed that the major management problems of MKCMNP were garbage and wastewater, and lack of water supply during the summer. He recommended the four main factors to achieve sustainable tourism development were: firstly, tourists must take any garbage away with them when they leave. Secondly, local people must be able to sustain their livelihood from tourism. Thirdly, tourist activities must not damage natural resources. Finally, co-operation between government agencies and the private sector must form a significant component of future tourism development. Tourism management recommendations were derived from the results to assist the management agency in better achieving ustainable tourism development. More effective tourism management will require visitor education and an interpretation program, waste management strategies and integrated land use planning process. Such strategies need to match visitor needs with protecting the natural resources. In addition, to ensure sustainable tourism public participation and co-management approaches should be incorporated into the management plan.


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Copyright 2005 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (MEnvMgt)--University of Tasmania, 2006. Includes bibliographical references

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