The golden triangle : golden opportunities? A cross-border network analysis of key tourism stakeholders

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The golden triangle : golden opportunities? A cross-border network analysis of key tourism stakeholders

 

Author: Focken, Kirsten.
Title: The golden triangle : golden opportunities? A cross-border network analysis of key tourism stakeholders
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2015
Subject: Tourism -- Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia)
Tourism -- Planning
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: vii, 189 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2832900
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8389
Abstract: This dissertation examines the cooperation among stakeholders in the cross-border region of the Golden Triangle between Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. The region is situated in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) which is part of the ASEAN group of nations. Both regions have experienced above average growth rates in tourist arrivals and earnings from tourism during the past 10-20 years. The research identifies and evaluates the various stakeholder groups, and their roles and attitudes towards regional cooperation. It elaborates the opportunities and required structures to develop a competitive and sustainable cross-border destination. The theoretical basis for this study lies in the fields of cross-border tourism, destination development, cooperation and networks. The study further builds on theories and practical examples of regional integration. The research uses multiple sets of data consisting of in-depth interviews, reports and studies, press articles, and web pages. This methodology provides a holistic description of the cross-border region and existing processes and structures with regard to the development of the cross-border destination.
The findings confirm the complexity of cross-border tourist destinations and the key role of governments. It illustrates the limitation of the region to develop competitive tourist destinations if government authorities do not provide support and resources. Cooperation and linkages between local firms, communities and international firms across the border of the Golden Triangle are generally weak and therefore no substantial tourism offers exist. Nevertheless the study identifies the potential for cooperation if existing networks and organizations are strengthened and actors take a bridging role across the destinations.This potential is elaborated for the regional tourism organizations in the context of the GMS as well as for regional and international tourism businesses. These actors should provide relationships and link firms and government authorities across the borders. The opportunities and benefits of developing and marketing regional tourism products and services are generally acknowledged by the actors but insufficient resources and in-depth knowledge of destination management hinders the implementation of existing strategies and plans. The research also recommends that international organizations and donors continue to support capacities of governments and at the same time assure a better cooperation with the private sector and between all stakeholders across the countries. The study is exploratory and presents a basis for further elaboration of multi-level, cross-border destination cooperation. Existing politics-based theories and network theories should drive further research. Practically the research informs destinations and governments about possible structures and activities to accelerate the implementation of regional tourism strategies and thereby increase the competitiveness of the Mekong region as a tourist destination.

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