Carrying Capacity for Community-Based Tourism at Koh
Phithak, Chumphon Province, Thailand: Phase I
Benjamas Na Thongkaew
Tourism Management Program, Maejo University at Chumphon,
Lamae District, Chumphon Province 86170
The objectives of this research were to specify the indicators for tourism carrying
capacity and to access the carrying capacity of tourism in Koh Phithak, Chumphon Province
in four aspects, namely: ecology, physicality, facility management and psycho-socio-economics. An evaluation of nature-based-tourism site potential (ENTSP), community lessons
summary, tourist questionnaires, waste facts recording form, and tourist behavior observation
forms were used to collect data. It was found that Koh Phithak was a natural tourism attraction
with a high level of overall potential (2.67 points). Most tourists stayed there overnight and
traveled with friends or family members and on average their activities were taking pictures,
having a rest in a peaceful atmosphere, taking a nature trail around the island and swimming
at 69.8%,69.1%, 51.8% and 50.4% respectively.
In addition, it was found that most tourists had positive attitudes towards and
were satisfied with the island and thought that it was worth the expense. Some examples of
the positive attitudes were: clean and tasty food, clean home-stays, sufficient bath rooms
and rest rooms and feeling good value for the money at (mean= 4.80, 4.69, 4.61 and 4.56)
respectively. Besides this, 82.9% of more than 300 repeat tourists perceived the change in a rising tourist number from the past but 62.2% of them did not perceive the congestion of
tourists within the same area and this coincided with villagers' perception. It also revealed
that 60% of home-stay owners preferred to welcome tourists every day.
Moreover, Field Surveys and secondary data were used for carrying capacity
assessment of tourism site management. There were 19 indicators being formed, namely: 1)
8 for ecosystem 2) 7 for physical structures and facilities 3) 2 for social psychology and 4)
3 for economic matters and management. It was found that carrying capacities of physical
structures and facilities consisted of rest areas, parking areas, bathrooms and rest rooms.
Those of ecology were garbage management and its usage, and that of psycho-socio-economics was at a moderate level (At & Approaching CC) while the use water was over
the carrying capacity level (Exceeding CC).
Keywords: Carrying capacity, Indicator, Community based tourism, Tourism, Koh
Phithak, Chumphon Province, Thailand