Community-Based Tourism Management during the Coronavirus Pandemic along the Andaman Coast of Thailand

Prawit Khunnikom, Umaporn Muneenam, Phen Sukmag


The spread of the coronavirus pandemic from the end of 2019 until the present has drastically changed the trends in the tourism service industry around the world, also in community-based tourism in Thailand. This qualitative research article aimed to explain community-based tourism management during the coronavirus pandemic and includes multiple case studies in five communities of five provinces (Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, and Satun provinces) along the Andaman coast of Thailand, which creates an understanding of the characteristics of community-based tourism management for application in specific situations. The data were collected from January to March 2022 via online in-depth interviews and online focus group discussions, with ten key informants and community-based tourism entrepreneurs (two representatives from each). Then, the data were verified using triangulation and analyzed by using content analysis. The results revealed that the community-based tourism management in the Andaman coastal area of Thailand was based on the communities’ cultural and natural resources. The tourism operation during the coronavirus 2019 pandemic was focused on building confidence and safety for tourists, namely: 1) characteristics of vaccinated tourists entering the communities and preferred quality tourists; 2) communities’ readiness for receiving tourists — service staff was regularly checked for coronavirus, renovations were done, and tourism activities were designed to be appropriate in a pandemic situation; 3) public relations and communication of the communities’ good image were pursued; 4) community development sought to achieve the standard of the Thailand Safety and Health Administration; 5) a surveillance system was established to monitor community situations. However, recommendations based on this research are that the government should support community-based tourism operations through tax measures, financial projects allocated to the communities, and technology to promote tourism on various platforms. Results from this research can be applied to community-based tourism entrepreneurs, especially in other areas of Thailand.


Keywords: community-based tourism, coronavirus 2019 pandemic, Andaman coastal area, Thailand.

Full Text:



DOGRU T., SUESS C., and SIRAKAYA-TURK E. Why Do Some Countries Prosper More in Tourism than Others? Global Competitiveness of Tourism Development. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 2021, 45(1): 215-256. DOI: 10.1177/1096348020911706.

PYKE S., HARTWELL H., BLAKE A., and HEMINGWAY A. Exploring well-being as a tourism product resource. Tourism Management, 2016, 55: 94-105. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2016.02.004.

QIAN J., SHEN H., and LAW R. Research in Sustainable Tourism: A Longitudinal Study of Articles between 2008 and 2017. Sustainability, 2018, 10(3): 1-13. DOI: 10.3390/su10030590.

PUNG J.M., GNOTH J., and DEL CHIAPPA G. Tourist transformation: Towards a conceptual model. Annals of Tourism Research, 2020, 81: 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2020.102885.

SHI Q., and LIU T. Should internal migrants be held accountable for spreading COVID-19? Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 2020, 52(4): 695-697. DOI: 10.1177/0308518X20916764.

AGARWAL R., KARIYAPOL T., and PIENCHOB N. Positive and Negative Impacts of Tourism on Environment: A Case Study of Pattaya City, Thailand. Sripatum Review of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2019, 19(1): 136-147. [Online] Available from:

KOODSELA W., DONG H., and SUKPATCH K. A Holistic Conceptual Framework into Practice-Based on Urban Tourism toward Sustainable Development in Thailand. Sustainability, 2019, 11(24): 1-28. DOI: 10.3390/su11247152.

SIRIVEJJABHANDU A. The Potential of Adaptability in Connunity Tourism Development to the New Normal during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandamic: A Case Study of Mueang Chan Community, Mueang Chan District, Sisaket Province. Santapol College Academic Journal, 2022, 8(1): 101-110. [Online] Available:

HIGGINS-DESBIOLLES F. Socialising tourism for social and ecological justice after COVID-19. Tourism Geographies, 2020, 22(3): 610–623. DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2020.1757748.

CROES R. The Role of Tourism in Poverty Reduction: An Empirical Assessment. Tourism Economics, 2014, 20(2): 207-226. DOI: 10.5367/te.2013.0275.

LEE T.H., JAN F.-H., TSENG C.H., and LIN Y.F. Segmentation by recreation experience in island-based tourism: a case study of Taiwan’s Liuqiu Island. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2018, 26(3): 362-378. DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2017.1354865.

GIAMPICCOLI A. A conceptual justification and a strategy to advance community-based tourism development. European Journal of Tourism Research, 2020. [Online] Available from:

HANDICRAFT R., PROMCHART R. JEATAMRONG N., RATTAKUL W., and KEAWKLA K. Development of the composition and indicators of gross happiness of community-based tourism management. Interdisciplinary Journal of Management Buriram Rajabhat University, 2017, 1(1): 99-108. [Online] Available from:

BOONMEE J., and TANASAVATE K. Community-based Tourism Management in Trang, Satun and Krabi Provinces. Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya Research Journal, 2019, 11(3): 491-503. [Online] Available from:

THE OFFICE OF STRATEGY MANAGEMENT, SOUTHWEST ANDAMAN. OSM Andaman Development Plan (Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang) 2018-2021. 2016. [Online] Available from:

KUNGWANSUPAPHAN C. The Socio-economic Impact of COVID-19 on Khunchaitong Elephant Community-based Tourism in Surin Province, Thailand. Journal of Mekong Societies, 2021, 17(2): 28-49. [Online] Available from:

GOODWIN H., and ROSA S. Community-Based Tourism: a success? London: ICRT Occasional Paper 11, 2009.

NOORASHID N., and CHIN S.W.L. Coping with COVID-19: The Resilience and Transformation of Community-Based Tourism in Brunei Darussalam. Sustainability, 2021, 13(15): 1-29. DOI: 10.3390/su13158618.

JANTHADECH T. The New Way of Thailand New Normal Tourism. Suratthani Rajabhat Journal, 2022, 8(2): 1-16. [Online] Available from:

HAMBIRA W.L., STONE L.S., and PAGIWA V. Botswana nature-based tourism and COVID-19: transformational implications for the future. Development Southern Africa, 2022, 39(1): 51-67. DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2021.1955661.

VOIGT C., BROWN G., and HOWAT G. Wellness tourists: in search of transformation. Tourism Review, 2011, 66(1/2): 16-30. DOI: 10.1108/16605371111127206.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. Ventilation and Coronavirus (COVID-19). 2022. [Online] Available from:


  • There are currently no refbacks.