RACAP Series on Culture and Tourism i Asia n




by Chupinit Kesmanee and Kulawadee Charoensri


0 UNESCO 1995

Published by the

UNESCO Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific P.O. 967,Prakanong Post Office Box Bangkok 1 11 ,Thailand 0 0

Printed in Thailand

The designations employed and the presentation of material throughoutthe publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part o UNESCO concerning f the legal status of any country, territory,city or area or of its authorities,or concerning itsfrontiers or boundaries.


The present publication in the series on Culture and Tourism in Asia n i devoted to the Effects of Tourism on Culture and the Environment i s Thailand. The "case studies" were undertaken as part of a project jointly n formulated by Indonesia and Thailand i 1992 and based on a research design developed by experts on culture and tourism in a meeting held in Cipanas, West Java, Indonesia from 22-24July 1992. The project comes within the purview of the "World Decade for C l u a Development" (1988 1997) proclaimed by the General Assembly of utrl the United Nations, which ushered in a new era of sustained activities i the n field of culture both a national and international level. The United Nations t utrl Educational Scientific and C l u a Organization (UNESCO)being assigned the role of lead agency for the Decade has sponsored the project.


Over the past decade Asia has witnessed tremendous social, cultural, political and technological changes. The rapid growth of tourism on large n scale i some countries in the region has been a significant agent of these, not all very welcome, changes. Like i most developing countries of the world, n n s tourism i many Asian countries i also conceived as a powerful means of attracting the coveted foreign exchange and an easy means of boosting the national economy. It brings investment, creates jobs, and promotes sales of crafts and local artifacts, etc. Accordingly the cultural heritage sites. performing arts, crafts and natural resources have all been exploited i n attracting the tourists. This approach, however, reduces the cultural heritage and the environmental assets to an economic commodity minimizing o r sometime completely ignoring their socio-cultural values. Moreover converging of a large number of tourists of different background on a historic monument or site and location of tourist facilities on the cultural heritage sites have often resulted not only in altering of the original features but also in all kind of pollution damaging or even destroying the fabric of the monuments and works of art. The zeal of collecting mementoes, ay particularly from the archaeological sites, has also led to vandalism of m n sites. Tourism, viewed from another perspective, is also a factor of acculturation which affects attitudes, alters popular beliefs, changes mentalities

me fleasoftourism on cdure in mi^
and spreads new concepts relating t work, money, and human relationship. o Sometimes it also destroys the ties that bind people to their faith, religion and aesthetics. In the wake of accumulation of restaurants, bars, discos and other entertainments come disturbing public behaviour, drunkenness, vandalism, crime, indecency, etc. The youth in many cases emulate the visitors behaviour and social conflicts brew. On the other hand tourism, by bringing people of different cultures together, provides a direct contact between them and thus serves as a powerful means of diffusion of world cultures. It provides an opportunity of friendly and peaceful dialogue leading to better understanding between people and nations. It can build bridges and create friendship between o nations leading t establishing of peace - the penultimate goal of the United Nations. Sporadic studies on various aspects of tourism have been carried out previously but there are serious gaps in existing knowledge on tourism in Asia. There i a need to review these studies and evaluate their impact. The project s aims a assessing the present state of tourism, and studying its impacts on t culture and the environment in participating countries in Asia. The fmdings of o the case studies are expected to lead t formulation of practicable guidelines il which wl promote sustainable tourism: a tourism that encourages better understaading of a people and respect for their culture. and protects natural and social environment of the host country.

s n The present volume i the result of the researches undertaken i Thailand. Khun Chupinit Kesmanee and Khun Kulawadee Charoensri deserve t be congratulated for their sincere efforts to collect, review and analyze the o data. The views and opinions expressed i the case study represent the views n and opinions of the author and not of U N E S C O . The recommendations in Chapter V may be found useful and utilized by the interested agencies. It i s our sincere hope that the case study wl encourage further research on the il impacts of tourism on culture and the environment.
Richard Engelhardt Regional Adviser for Culture UNESCO Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Bangkok July 1995


grass-rootslevel. Thus. it was found that the impact of trekking tourism varies from locale to locale. results in inequitable income distribution and leads to dependence upon outsiders.A S STRAC'I In keeping w t the growth of tourism worldwide. it is i p r a t that the tour ih agencies should work hand-in-hand wt the community organizations. The recommendations in the study are made in order t contribute t o o the development of a sustainable trekking tourism. But this does not invariably provide the opportunity to the o hosts and the visitors t learn from each other. Community organizations must be involved il motn in planning and servicing the visitors. The problems of drug addiction and prostitution are not always the consequence of trekking tours. Cooperation among all parties involved wl be important. however. It is also argued. Instead. It is most often believed that tourism can help generate supplementary income a the local. In 1992. the trekking ih industry in the north of Thailand is on the rise. Data collected from the three villages studied indicate that they all face economic problems which are closely associated with a scarcity of land resources. contact between the tourist and the villager i often largely mediated by the tour guides who play s n the role of cultural broker. it was reported that there were more than 200 trekking company outlets in Chiang Mai. but rather of weak village leadership. The way in which trekking tours are organized also threatens the environment by causing damage to the farmers' fields. Tourism is invariably an encounter between two different cultures. The distribution of income earned from trekking i a local community may not always be widely distributed. that tourism t causes the deterioration of local culture. using up scarce bamboo resources and contributing to pollution by improper disposal of waste. From this study. iii . This wl lead to a situation wherein tourists can gain an understanding of the il interrelationship between the environment and the local people and their culture.

It is hoped that the information presented herein wl be useful t all parties il o concerned and that trekking tours can be improved. Jean Michaud and Mika Toyota for their kind permission t share o o their data. n Last. the research team o would have been left in despair and unable t meet the project's time deadline.The research team would like t express its gratitude t Philip o o Dearden. a Karen young man who offered his i assistance in many ways in the field. Thanks to Khun Y Khongrai. thanks to Khun Sirinant Sukanit a the Tribal t Research Institute for her efforts in producing the report of this study. Without his help. Chupinit Kesmanee Kulawadee Charoensri i v . becoming a more sustainable enterprise. Special thank goes t the Office of the National Culture Commission for its well-thoughtout initiation of this research project. Lahu and Akha peoples of the three villages i M a e Taeng District where the study was undertaken. Many thanks also go to the Karen. but not least.

. . .... .... ... ... . ........... . .. ....... .. . 1 . Conclusion and Recommendations Conclusion ...... .. .... ... ...... ..... ... ............ 1 Overview of the Situation . . ...... .. ..... ..... . .. .... ... ......... .. .... . ... .... ........... ....... .. ....... Lahu and Akha . ... .. ... . .. .. . . ... 7 IV... ..... ..... ....... .... .. ... . .. Village Profiles ...... . ... . Research Methodology .... ...... . .. References ... .. .... ... . C l u a Features of the Karen. . ..... ..... .. ........ ...... 1 . ... ... ... .. .... Ethnic Highlanders and Trekking Tourism . . . .. .... . . ............ ... .. ... . .. .. . VI............. ....... .. ........... 24 ...... ............ .... . 1 2 111. .............. .. . . 3 6 ... . .. .. .. ..... . . ... . . .. .. .. ... . Conceptual Framework ...... ... ... 3 4 5 8 II.. .. . . .... .... .. .... .. Cultural Features and Village Profiles . .. . 3 Research Rationality .. ... . ....... .... . ..... 26 29 V ..... ..... ...... ..... .. ..... .. . 8 Government Policy on Tourism . ... ... ... ... .. .. ... .... . .. .. .. ... .... .. . . ... Introduction ... ... ..... ....... .. Research Objectives . .. .... ..... ..... ....... .. 15 .. . .. .. . . . ..... ..... .... ..... . Impact of Trekking on local life and Environment . .. .... . 11 . ... .... ........C 0 1\17E N T S 1. .. ... .. .. . ..... . ... . .. . . ..... ........ .. . .. ... . 24 . .. 29 32 Recommendations .. . .... ................. . . ........... . . ..... .. ....... .. ... ... .... . . . ... .. .. .. .. .... .. . Impact of Trekking Tours on the Environment ... .. . .. ............ 24 Trekking Patterns and Situations . .. W h o are the Ethnic Highlanders? ... . . . . .. Trekking Tourism i the Highlands ... . .. n . ...... ......... ... .... ..... ..... ... . . ... .. .. ............... ........ ... . . ...... .. 15 utrl . ... . . .... . .. ... ... ..... .. ......... . ... Trekking Impact of Local People and Culture .... .... ...... .. ......

therefore helping to upgrade the standard of living of the people in the host countries. Tourism also provides opportunities for people of different ) cultures to meet and interact.738 foreign tourists visited Thailand and spent 2. it was reported that there were approximately 389 million tourists globally who generated revenues of approximately US194 billion (Tourism Business 1988: 68).it was estimated that 430 million tourists travelling outside their own countries generated about US$250 billion (World Tourism Organization 1991: 1. 638.2 per cent per annum (Environment Research Institute 1982: 33). In 1971. Thus the two cultures that meet are more often a opposites of the t economic spectrum.2 per cent per annum on . The United Nations estimates that poor countries earned about US$% billion from tourism in 1988 (O'Grady 1990: 6 . With regard to tourism in developing countries.the rate of increase in tourists averaged 12. Three years later. international tourism has risen in ih popularity. conflict. The larger portion of income goes to the multinational companies who o w n and control the industry (ibid. In 1988. Business Time 31 August 1 8 ) This implies 91. Tourism in Thailand has been growing for two decades. Between 19861988.Overview of the situation As a consequence of worldwide interaction through foreign trade accompanied by m o d e m communication. that the local people who are located a the bottom of the scale of income t distribution. 7. would normally receive the lesser share although they are the source of tourist attraction. It has been observed that income generated by tourism is not equitably shared. the increase in the number of tourists was 20. and to create jobs. Tourism has become an industry in the sense that it is institutionalized and constitutes one of the major sources of revenue from overseas. Over t e h decade between 1971-1981. This may lead to misunderstanding and therefore. in 1991. hand-in-handw t national economic growth. the tourists typically come from countries which are more affluent than their hosts. ) The tourism industry i developing countries is expected to bring in n the needed foreign exchange.214 million.

000. inequitable income distribution and dependence 2 . However. As for the annual number of trekking tourists in Thailand a the time of this survey (1991). Although in recent years. tourism can also be a factor contributing to the deterioration of local culture. In general.207tourists. and M a e Hong Son provinces (ibid: 3-15).385 Year 1987 1988 1989 19 90 1991 + +13.004 Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand 1992 Over the years. it was reported that there were about 120. op. Chiang M i Chiang Rai.024 78.: 68).572 100. cit. coming to Chiang Mai (Tourism Authority of Thaiiand 1987). is now considered one of the major n tourist spots i the country. Trekking tours are one of the major tour enterprises organized in the north of Thailand.n effects of tourism on culture in Thailand e average (Tourism Business. 1992: 3-9). namely.7 + 10. the absolute number of tourists remains high as shown in the following table: Table 1 : Annual Number and Percentage of Foreign Tourists and Income Derived from Tourism Foreign Tourists % Number (mil. tourism growth in Thailand which was originally focused on Bangkok and the sea resort of Pattaya spread out to other upcountry destinations. n Tourism is generally regarded as a factor i boosting economic growth. which has developed numerous facilities. and diverse tourist attractions. Chiang Mai province.2 110. In 1986 there were 710.6 +21. This implies that t foreign tourists have more direct contact wt the local people than do Thai ih t tourists.5 Income from Tourism (million Baht) 50.of w h o m o a.5 per cent came t the north. both of Thai and foreign origin.) Increase ( ) +23. Thailand has witnessed a gradual decline of tourist growth rates.859 96. 89. Thai trekkers favor visiting natural attractions while foreign trekkers prefer to combine natural beauty and exotic cultural experiences on their routes (Pusatee e al.

An alternative and more sustainable tourism is what should be looked for. it s t investigates factors contributing to the impact of tourism on indigenous local cultures and the environment. To cope wt this reality means that tourism should become a process which encourages participation a all levels. The w a y trekking tours are organized i the north of Thailand imposes direct contact of n the two cultures as tourists are expected to stay overnight in villages. As the ethnic minorities whose socio-economic as well as political status is confined to the peripheral sector of the larger Thai society. This research has been designed to learn from the villagers' perspective. Finally. Research Rationality O f all the various types of tourism in Thailand. the trekking tour has been selected for this case study in order to learn about its impact on the local lo people. First. are mostly foreigners from developed countries. on the other o hand. Nevertheless. Second. recommendations are made i order to promote sustainable tourism while preserving the local culture n and environment. in order that all parties concerned benefit from the enterprise and that better understanding between the tourists and their hosts can be achieved. implementation and profit-sharing ih associated w t tourism development. The tourists. their culture and their environment. their culture and environment. neither the positive nor the negative agents of tourism can be ignored and denied their importance in affecting the socio-economic ih development of a region. 3 . it explores the interplay between local people. This leads t an encounter of two groups of people whose cultures are very different. These highlanders live a by-and-large traditional lifestyle. This should t include the local people in the planning. The fact that trekking tours a l w for a direct encounter between the tourists and their local hosts suits the aims of these research interests. The local people who are the subject of this study comprise of ethnic minority highlanders who are known collectively as "hill tribes".upon outsiders (be they the local private agencies. foreign or multinational companies). Research Objectives This study i designed to achieve a least three objectives.

t From the road to Pai district between the village of Pa Pae and M a e Lao. Lahu. In addition. Karen. one takes the main road t o Fang district. Village B is a Red Lahu village located i the same tambon as n Village A. For better or worse. Research Methodology 1. a Karen village. To enter the area from Chiang Mai town. The villagers are Karen of the Skaw subgroup. Chiang M i Province. In this study. The research team i aware that the information presented in this s report does not provide a complete picture of the situation because neither the views of the tour guides nor the tourists have been included. The area is inhabited by several ethnic groups. One of the popular trekking routes in this area starts from Ban Pong Duad. above all. another road branches out to the right leading to Ban Pong Duad. Village C. The trekkers reach Ban Pong Noi. This study offers a chance to the local hill tribe peoples to express n opinions of the tourist industry growing i their midst. namely. Lahu and M a : 0 0 0 Village A is located in Tambon Kud Chang. Chiang Mai Province. three villages were selected t represent three different ethnic o groups: Karen. is a village populated by a n combination of Lahu Bala and Lo M e Akha. Shan and lowland Thai.The effects of tourism on culture i Thailand n opportunity is relatively limited for them t voice their o w n problems and o needs. Amphoe M a e Taeng. in less than an 4 . Akha. the local people who have t bear the o consequences. A trek offers tourists with not only a variety of ethnic encounters. but also a visit to a natural geyser.also i Tambon Kud Chang. a lowland Thai village. Study Villages The sample sites for this study are located along one of the most n a popular trekking routes i Amphoe M a e Taeng. T w o households are lowland Thai. elephant rides and o rafting along the M a e Taeng River cater t the more adventurous tourists. it is. However. but makes a left turn to Pai district a the M a e Malai junction. w e feel our "emic" interpretation i justified by the fact that the hill tribes are s o o compelled t play both the role of object of tourist attraction and t be the passive recipients in the decision-making process of the trekking industry.

in a broader sense. Thus. 2 Data Collection and Analysis . that tourism is not totally confined n to industrial or modem society. and then head back t Sob Kai to complete their tour.the last study village on this trekking route. From either Pha Ngerb or Village B. The techniques of participant observation and in-depth interview were applied throughout the field investigation. This made it possible to compare the findings in other studies wt those from ih o the fieldwork undertaken in this study.This leads Nash (1978:35) t conclude that: "It s e e m clear. the research team spent considerable time reviewing existing documentaries and literature.Introduction hour. This was done by interviewing key informants in the t selected villages. ih In constructing the conceptual framework of this study." 5 . It takes another hour to walk from t Village A to the elephant camp a Ban Pang Kha (Karen). The research team spent three months from June to August 1993 working in the field to cover the three villages mentioned above. the group can either walk the left track to the Karen village of Pa Kluai or take the right track to Village A. Special attention was paid to the characteristics of the tourists as well as their guides and their relationship wt the villagers. Observations were also recorded in the field-notes.but it also is true that only i such a society does it also become a pervasive social phenome'non. The tourists then take an elephant ride and cross the M a e Taeng river to Ban Pha Ngerb ( M u ) in a quarter of an hour. Some tour groups end their journey a Sob Kai. the study village. 1 ) 2. o p. travellers enjoy rafting along the M a e Taeng River to Ban Sob Kai (lowlander Thai). (Fig. the study village. Pilgrims visiting religious centers or Australian aborigines visiting sacred places are o examples of traditional "tourism". From Pong Noi. or they can go fifteen minutes further to Village B (Mu). both "emic" and "etic" interpretationswere applied throughout the investigation. while others spend a few more t hours walking to Village C ( M u and Akha).. Further information was derived from in-depth interviews. Questionnaires were designed to collect data a the village level. Conceptual Framework Tourism. is an ancient phenomenon. 2. Efforts were made t emphasize the analysis of data from the villagers' perspective. therefore. Either route takes approximately an hour.

. tourism is regarded as a source of substantial income generated within a country as well as i a local village (Dearden 1991 n and 1 9 ) From the villages surveyed it has been found that 79. data drawn from a case study of trekking tours in a 90. tourism has been criticized widely for i s negative sociocultural as well as environmental impact (e.. increased productivity is a factor contributing to the development of tourism because increased productivity leads to increased leisure time. reveals that the extra cash income earned from the trekkers within the village ends up in the hands of middlemen w h o are mostly not form the Hl Tribe (Michaud 1993: 9. however.[ Trekking Tourism Induced Change Local Community I . Tourism in the developing world is. a controversial subject. O'Grady t 1 9 ) Furthermore. O n the positive side.3 per cent of 92..The efecrs o tourism on culrure i Thailand f n Figure I: Conceptual Framework of Trekking Tourism 1 I. 1992: 6. t I fact. Toyota (1993: 9-10) 6 . while il ) admitting that economic opportunities for people in peripheral areas are proposes that: provided by tourism. _. ) villagers are engaged in tourism related occupations (Pusatee e al. Among other factors. Thus. n H m o n g community. also i north Thailand. including improved transport and communication facilities. tourism has been considered one of the major sources of foreign n exchange since the 1960s.g. 1993: 1) However. Tourism is also thought to spread economic activity i t areas which are spatially peripheral and marginal in economic terms no 7. (Hitchcock et al. 1 .

Avoiding the expansion of the tourism industry is. next to o impossible.." ' I . The question that begs an answer is how to ensure benefit t all parties concerned. tourism may also n differentially affect different groups of people in terms of the differentiation of economic. and should not be assessed only i economic terms. Moreover. cost-benefit analysis does not help much. In this sense. however. and social power and n position i the society .Introduction . as it is highly dependent upon form whose perspective costs and benefits are being assessed. political.any form of tourism creates a complex series of social and cultural impacts on societies. 7 ..

H'tin and Khamu. Thus. 1.251 in Chiang Mai (Tribal Research Institute. 2. Whereas those who live in the highlands are referred to as "Chao Khao" (hill n people) which is translated into "hill tribe" i English. 1.the nine major tribal groups have populations as shown in the following table: These hill peoples are distributed geographically across 20 provinces f o the northernmost Chiang Rai. 1992).W h o Are the Ethnic Highlanders? Thailand is the homelaad of a wide range of various ethnic groups.of ethnic groups residing in the northern lowlands. M u . M a e Hong Son. other ethnic categories. Shanz and Chinese Yunnanese. Yao. Lisu. The northern highlands in particular. Population and Distribution According to the statistical data compiled by the Tribal Research n Institute i 1992. r A subgroup of ThailTai speaking people. O the 20 provinces inhabited by the hill tribes. Lua. Geographically the northern region i characterized by a mountainous s terrain. Chiang f M i T l . Akha. with Thai/Tai in the majority. local people of the north are identified. to the central region as far south as rm Prachuap Khiri Khan. can be found in the northern mountains of Thailand. According to the government. they are collectively called "Khon Muang" (town people). the hunting and gathering people who call themselves "Mfa Bri"' (jungle people) are also considered a hill tribe. Hmong. 8 . contain the greatest number of ethnic groups. Actually. ac having the greatest highland population. Mla B i are popularly known as "Spirits of the Yellow Leaves" people. apart from the above-mentioned groups. the term "Chao Khao" only officially covers nine major ethnic groups: Karen. with 56. Although there are a number. as highland or lowland dwellers. according to their geographical location.865 highlanders living in Nan up to 142. However. Chiang Rai and Nan form a group of provinces a . for example.

the highlanders can be classified into two major groups: the first.07 15.144 I I % 51. Yao.537 57. the second group composed of the Karen. comprises the Hmong.334 I I No. while members of the second group usually possess the technical know-how of terraced paddy fields and small-scale irrigation.120 237 I I No. these three concerns are the source of all problems. Lisu and A b . forest s destruction. 2 Major Problems in the Highlands . H'tin. If shifting cultivation leads to frequent relocation of settlements and therefore.814 91. As seen from one perspective. eradication of opium production and national security (see also Renard 1986: 4.96 9. who are called "pioneer swiddeners".775 11. 9 .97 I Lahu I 410 I Source: Tribal Research Institute. Lahu.406 11. to solve the problem. 1992 (based on data from the 1985-88census) Employing a number of economic strategies and land use systems. and the solutions seem to be straightforward. o persons f 292. The latter use a field rotational system of agriculture. Those who have traditional expertise in opium-poppy cultivation belong to the first group. Thus. it i necessary to introduce sedentary farming into the highland communities. ofHousehold 55. In order to understand the highland situation and is related problems. permanent landuse is equivalent to permanent settlement.Ethnic highlandersand trekking tourism Table 2: Highland Population in Thailand Ethnic Group Karen Hmona No. This has been based primarily on three key concepts: halting shifting cultivation. Radley 1986: 82.Tapp 1990:31). Khamu and Lua are called "established swiddeners". of Villages 2. t it is important to pay due regard to the rationale for government development intervention.

and o by brokers. however. This was seen to pose a threat to national security. Cash crops introduced by different agencies. W e get diarrhoea and dizziness i w e f 9 drink the water" (Bangkok Post. Thus. cabbages. The participation of some of the h l tribes i the communist il n o insurgency a few decades ago led the Thai Government t conclude that il because these hl people have recently migrated into Thailand. Unfortunately.l3e efects o tourism on culture i i i a d f n %ln Cash crop replacement programs have long been attempted in order to eradicate opium-poppy cultivation. Although this policy was success. . concern for national security. after the introduction of cash crops. Price fluctuations from year to year leave farmers uncertain as t whether or not they wl get a reasonable income from o il the sale of produce" (Chupinit and Gebert 1993: 72-73). especially fruits h d vegetables. Marketing of various farm products. for the use of any pesticides. still persists and i s 1 0 . is a chronic problem for many farming families contributing to economic difficulties. swim in the creeks. The resulting s i degradation has led more and more highland farmers to adopt chemical fertilizers. 1 February 1990). the overall economic situation in a highland community still does not seem to improve substantially. the hilltribes need only a small piece of land. so far do n t offer highland families a secure income. the hill tribe people need t clear a lot of land to make it profitable. And they don't require . they lack loyalty to the Thai State. . Our buffaloes get sores if they . They can be grown only once a year. a In addition. This was done mainly through education and other government services in order to "win the people's hearts". including debt. the cash crops introduced ol are mostly monocultural.hl. The comment made by a lowland farmer reflects very well the emergence of a new problem: "For poppies. it was government policy to instill in the hill peoples a sense of belonging to the Nation. n This is reaffied by the data collected in the course of fieldwork i several n hill tribe villages i Pang M a Pha sub-districtof M a e Hong Son province: "In terms of economic development in PMP [Pang M a Pha] rice deficiencies are still a major problem reported by the villagers. o They use rotating sprinklers to shower the cabbage plots all day [with water fertilizers and pesticide] and they grow cabbages all year round.

A tourism promotion plan was first articulated in 1936 which consisted of three aspects: (1) public relations to draw the tourists in. In 1949. the same year the Hl Tribes Welfare il Committee was set up. In 1959. citizenship and property titles.. Parliament s passed a new law on tour businesses and tour guides. The members of a highland l family do not feel economically secure. the Tourism Organization of Thailand (TOT)was also established as an independent agency assigned mainly with promotional work. Under this law TAT i 11 . Tourist services wl be improved i rural areas to promote this development il n (Manus e al. the law on Tourism in Thailand was enacted to reorganize TOT into the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).after the interruption of World War 11. As the process of development accelerates. but not least.a public relations sector was set up within the administrative f structure o the Thai Railways in order to assist foreign tourists and to promote Thailand to potential tourists overseas. the lack of citizenship inhibits their access to o t land ownership. In 1992. their farmland may be taken away because of reforestatiqn policy. op cit: appendix l). The Government wl encourage development to provide il employment opportunities for rural people. Al these problems are closely related. Government Policy on Tourism In 1924. the family is subject t relocation a any time. Last. This leads some people t hope that o tourism may be able t offer an opportunity for the hill people to share in the benefits of development." t In 1979. these already marginal o people risk becoming more marginalized. (2)entertaining the tourists while in country. The growth of the tourism industry was so impressive that two decades ago the government declared that: il "The Govemment wl support tourism seriously because il tourism employs people. the Thai Government revived the promotion of tourism and placed the office in charge within the Department of Broadcasting.Ethnic highlanders and trekking tourism reflected in the reluctance and/or delay by the government t grant the h l o il peoples. The Government wl promote a bureau of tourism and enlarge the role of tourism. and (3) maintenance of tour spots and accommodations.

to increase security measures for the tourists of both Thai and foreign origins to enable them to travel to all destinations in ih Thailand wt confidence in physical and property safety. and the number of tour any agencies was limited. natural resources and environment in order to best maintain the Thai identity. 8. N.: 1-3). Government after government continuously and strongly promoted tourism. 4. to develop facilities and services for tourism to meet with the proper standard in order to impress the tourists more pronounced1y . Trekking Tourism i the Highlands n According to Dearden.it was recorded that approximately 3. spending 49. to preserve and revitalize the cultural assets. In 1987. as a result of the promotion of o "Visit Thdand Year" announced by the government. Since the outbreak of fighting against communism infiltration in the north of Thailand in 1967. rm 7. 2. the government declared many 12 .000 million baht. 5. to expand the tour sites into the local areas to ensure the distribution of income derived from tourism to all regions. . to promote the people's participation i wider activities related to n the development of tourism (Tourism Authority of Thailand. . The current policy of tourism announced by the Government through TAT are the following: 1. to promote and encourage the foreign tourists to come to Thailand o i order to bring i foreign currencies t quicken the economic n n growth at large. 6.D. 3. A about that time trekking tours were confined to certain areas m i l within Chiang Mai.me effects of tourism on culture in l3aiLand vested w t the mandate to promote and control tour business and the tour ih guide profession.4 million tourists came t Thailand. especially the low income group and the youth i order to provide n welfare f o tourism to the local people. trekking in northern Thailand started twentyt five years ago (Dearden 1992: 221). to create the local human resources for tourism industry and. to promote tourism within the country among Thai people.

Figure 2 M a p of Trekking Routes in M a e Taeng District . t Mae Hong Son o H a Nam D n (Lisu) ui ag N S .

Trekking i M a e Taeng area. n Elephant riding Rafing .

citing Klinpraneet 1988: 1 ) Michaud makes a noteworthy remark when he points out that i spite n of a fair number of research works on Hmong communities produced by different authors.. O if they actually r witnessed tourists passing by. in 1974. in 1990.: 2 .. One of the earlier works on tourism in the highlands was organized in 1976 applykg a survey technique in an attempt t gain some knowledge of the situation ( a u o Mns e at. However. with estimates of over 100. ". It was much later that the trekking industry expanded.may be because they chose their village sites with criteria of isolation from such outside influence.ooo3 1 in 1985.the number of foreign visitors i the northern region Was n estimated a 562. cit. t Statistics compiled a different time-intervals show clearly how the t numbers of foreign tourists has risen: .none of them seems t have encountered tourism i the o n ) communities they investigated (Michaud op. one of the authors to w h o m Michaud refers mentioned i his work a brief and superficial encounter between a group of French tourists accompanied by a town tour guide and H m o n g villagers (Chupinit 1991: 2534. 13 .000out of which 62. 1976).OOO trekkers per 4." n Actually.Ethnic highlanders and trekking t u i m ors areas i the region as war zones.the number of overseas tourists visiting Chiang M i Was a 4 .6 t 3. 1975 4. 1987 6 Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand.6004 in 1986. ". year in the late 1980s (Dearden 1991:405. Chiang Mai. maybe none considered it t be o an important enough factor to be included in their research. 1992 . Foreign tourists were discouraged. and i n n many cases prohibited from entering these "red" zones. the number of foreign tourists visiting Chiang M i Was a 215.. trekking tours were confined t ) s 90 o limited areas and their impact on local lives and culture was minimal. and. Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand.. .. Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand. Chiang Mai. This he suggests.the number of foreign tourists visiting Chiang M i Was a 268.1295 . Chiang Mai.210 went on a trek. 1987 5. it i possible that prior to 1 8 . Pacific Asia Travel Association.(ibid).. Source: Chiang Mai Airport Improvement Report.

400 baht. Chinese o Yunnanese. However. i the trekking business is to be sustainable.: 1 ) A the time of writing. the Phrao route: including visits to Karen. Akha and Shan villages. a waterfall and a hot spring. there were four popular trekking routes i the t n North: 0 the M a e Taeng route: including visits to Karen. the Chiang Rai route: including visits to Karen. 0 0 0 A l these treks take 3-4 days. In addition.. op cit. and a waterfall. Indeed.1. it was reported that there were over 200 trekking company outlets in Chiang Mai alone (Dearden 1992: 221). a waterfall. Lisu. and Peace of Thailand. Karen. the M a e Sariang route: including visits t Hmong.: 7-1-37). op t t cit. only two years earlier (1990). and a hot spring. Shan and Lahu villages. i relation t the trekking industry. Yao. Lahu and Akha villages.: 11-12). long-term effects of this enterprise and the local populations.m dects of rourivm on culture in Thai&& e In 1992. 1 4 . M a e Sai town and the Golden Triangle. Shan. and. w t the service charges ranghg from l ih 9 0 baht . other attractions for the adventurous are 0 elephant riding and bamboo rafting. However. Akha and Shan. Lahu. Palong. or a combination of both (Committee for Justice and Peace of Thailand. ibid.trekking tour companies registered as members of the Northern Region Trekking Tour Association numbered only 20 (Committee for Justice 0. there has never been a n o policy on trekking promotion stipulated a the national level (Pusatee e al. the f government should take steps to ensure that there are positive.

This is made possible t by the Karen's practice of land rotation or cyclical bush fallow shifting cultivation and terraced paddy-fields. 15 . Karen are matrilineal while. The exact time when the Karen first settled within the boundaries of Thailand i s unknown. It i not uncommon to find that Karen villages have s 0 been located a their present site for 1 0 years or more. relatives of both t husband and wife are equally respected. traditional costume. Cultural Features o the Karen. Lahu and Akha7 f 1. B w e or Kayah are also called Red Karen 4. a.The three villages included i this study were drawn from Karen. a the same time. n M u . tend t be located a relatively lower altitudes than groups producing opium. Premarital sexual intercourse is 7. Pwo or Plong are sometimes mistakenly called Red Karen o t Karen settlements. The information provided here is based on the hill tribes of Thailand. and housing style.but their ancestors had been present here for no less t a 200 years. Skaw or Pga Ker Y a w are also known as White Karen 2. Their 2. hn There are four major Karen subgroups: 1. Chiang M i 1987. Karen Karen comprise the largest portion of the highland population. Tribal Research Institute. Pa-0 or Tongsu are also known as Black Karen 3. The Karen are also well-known for their ability to domesticate wild elephants. The three ethnic groups can be distinguished from each other easily by means of dialect. and Akha ethnic groups.120 villages are located in the mountainous regions along the Thai-Myanmar hr border as far north as Chiang Rai and south to Prachuab K i i Khan.

Lahu N a or Muser Dam (Black Lahu).884). due to the fact that they believe i spirits and gods as well as worship ancestors. but are generally regarded as peaceful and humble. Village s authority is inherited along the leader's family line. n In certain areas in the highlands where various ethnic groups live i n close proximity. As is common among pioneer swiddeners. the Lahu seem to have the most numerous subgroups.and Phetchabun (12). Historically.M a e Hong Son (4. Among the hill tribes of Thailand. Thus. The Lahu can be found in seven provinces Chiang Rai (23.Kamphaeng Phet (694). - Monogamy and nuclear families are common among the M u . Tak (5.684). they are nmss considered theistic a i i t . the Lahu dialect is used t facilitate communications. Ethno-linguistically.131). Monogamy i also strictly observed traditionally. However. Akha Akha are known to the lowland Thai as Ekaw. a least six are found. W h e n a man marries a woman he is expected t live with his parents-in-law to o perform bridal services. Lahu Laba. Karen are feared by others for their witchcraft power. while opium-poppy r cultivation has been largely abandoned i most Lahu communities. Chiang Mai (22. D y field rice and maize are the major staple crops. Lahu Shehleh or Muser N a Muey. 2 Lahu . Although the Lahu believe in various kinds of spirits. The N e w Year celebration is perhaps the most important ?vent of the year and is held sometimes between January and March. In this. n Karen can be considered pantheists. Reputedly. and Lahu Shi Muser Luang (Yellow Lahu).050).l7te @ n of tourism on culture i lXailand es n strictly prohibited. Because of the bilineal nature of Lahu society. The Lahu are called Muser in Thai. the Lahu prefer to clear rm their upland fields f o virgin forest by means of slash-and-bum cultivation. the Akha locate their settlement along ridges'of the 1 6 . kinship ties are not strictly important in forming a clan system. they place "Geusha" as the highest God. a Lahu household can become an extended family for some years. Lahu Phu or Muser Khao (White Lahu). namely. o 3. By preference. it is believed that the Akha are linked with the ancient Lo10 in the southern part of China. Lahu Nyi or Muser Daeng (Red t Lahu).Lampang (689). it requires the authority of the village leader with spiritual support from a village o priest t oversee all community affairs. they are classified into the Tibeto-Burmanbranch of the Sino-Tibetan family.

village A is a satellite of Ban Pa Khao Lam. 23 women. Out of 105 villagers i n 1 households. but in practice. in 1942. Village A is a Skaw Karen community group. the Akha also practice shifting iia cultivation wt dry field rice and maize as their staple crops. Village Profiles 1. and 46 children. Concerning belief systems the Akha are pantheists. A patrilineal clan system is the rule governing Akha society.411). The t r "Lo M e " i claimed t be "Doi Mee" a place where these people have abandoned em s o their homeland.427).Chiang Mai (2. for example. takes place sometime between August and September. and the other is called "Lo M e Akha8" whose presence i Thailand is only recent. Amphoe C h o m Thong. Tak (1. a least two subgroups of Akha can be distinguished t by their different costumes: one is known as "U-loAkha" whose immigration can be traced over a hundred years back. Village A 1 1 Administretive locah'on . The leader of this first group was born i Ban Khun Tae.the first group of seven household settlers moved from Ban Pa Khao Lam. In terms of local administration. In Thailand. In 1980. 1 7 8 . Lampang (732). A l householders have Thai citizenship. Monogamy is prevalent. H e moved 8. Chiang Mai. Village leadership is divided into secular and sacred domains.179). and Phrae (292).another Karen village to the east. all of w h o m are 6 l Catholic. 13 ViUnge histog . Mae Taeng District of Chiang Mai. S m l r to other ethnic highlanders. Opium-poppy is ih only cultivated by the Lo M e subgroup. Ceremonies and festivities are relatively more frequent among A h a than other groups. The village is located in Tambon Kud Chang. A present.Culturalfeatures and village profles mountains. there are 36 men. there is no rule prohibiting an Akha man having more than one wife. The swinging ceremony. the Akha are n t distributed through five provinces: Chiang Rai (27. n Tambon Doi Kaeo. 1 2 Population . N e w Year is celebrated for four days in December.

Thirteen students.The e & ? s oftourism on culture i Thailand n twice before settling down i Village A. Several kinds of off-farm work are related t o trekking tours: for example: cutting bamboo for rafts and working as porters. he has taken his family n t Ban M a e Sae. Amphoe M a e Taeng. . 1 4 Communications . Since 1985. However. 1 5 Vil&ge economy .butonly eight households own buffalo. amounting to 20 rai. 18 . Chiang M i to set up a o a n mission center. Amphoe M a e n Taeng. papaya. mango. jack-fruit. and from Bang Pong Noi. four boys and nine girls. are currently in schools elsewhere. chiefly. banana. Tambon Pa Pae. 1 6 Education . Thus. Chickens and pigs are numerous in the village. Three households later joined from Ban Huai Sai Luang i Amphoe Mae Taeng. From there. about 20 persons have some education (Grade 4. lichee. From M a e Taeng town. Rice is the major staple crop in Village A where approximately 1 0 5 rai are planted w t upland rice and maize each year. l o Unfortunately. Fourteen persons have completed ) Grade 6. About seven households face an annual rice shortage averaging five months. longan. while all have developed individual orchards with a combination of fruit trees. there are a village traditional leader called "hi kho" and a Christian leader in Village A. The traditional land rotation cultivation practiced by the Karen has shortened the fallowing cycle from the o 0 original eight t ten or more years. . The rest run short of rice most months. there i an all weather tannac road 56 s kilometers to Ban M a e Sae (Khon Muang).the problems related to agriculture are not only pests and rodents in the field. a foot track leads to Ban Pong Noi (Karen) i about one o hour. the ih fields are left fallow for three years on average. According to key informants. a l the agricultural lands belonging t Village A lie within a forest reserve area which theoretically cannot be cultivated or cut. O f all the villagers. There are only three radio receivers in the whole community. pomelo. it takes another hour to go t Village A on foot. At present. After the harvest. but also the elephants n used i trekking which encroach on the farmers' fields and orchards.lemon and pineapple. Eleven households own about 5 rai of terraced paddy fields. only one household can produce rice to meet its annual needs. Tambon Pa Pae. . There is no school in the village. while only six persons have completed lower and upper secondary education levels. Cattle are raised by all.the villagers have t resort t wage work t o o o supplement what they grow.

M a p of Village A Kha LEGEND Stream t Pong Noi o I / N fi Christianchurch ~ourist accommodation /1f/ w+E S .Figure 3.

because village members come from different villages of origin. The sources of income in Village B are all related t trekking tours. Except for the policeman who has a Lahu wife in this village. Eight women have adopted birth control. A number of women earn income from prostitution. There are two village wells that serve the whole community all year round. 2 8 Viuage organization . Thus. C o m m o n seasonal diseases include diarrhoea in the hot season.7?w cffcctsoftourism on culture in Thailand 2 4 Communication . Some villagers have opened village shops to serve trekkers with beverages. Hiring their labor out is another source of income for the villagers. and colds in the winter time. Their reason for immigration does not conform to the traditional migration pattern of the hill tribes. 2 6 Education . A l households earn income from providing o l wt o accommodation ( i h one meal) t the tourists. the villagers go to a o Tambon Sob K i t buy needed commodities. none of the villagers has attended school. Latrines have not been introduced into the village. The only source of health care in the village is provided by a traditional practitioner. None of them work their own fields. 2 7 H e d h service . others cut and prepare bamboo rafts. Some villagers provide opium to tourists as an experiment. The village is located within a forest reserve. There is no community organization of any form. but the people of Village B came t this area o specifically t earn their income from the trekking business. colds and malaria in the rainy season. There are no educational services available in Village B. Government health services have not yet reached the village. The search for new fertile land is the major driving force f r migration o o among most hill tribes. Seven households own in total about 1 0 chickens. and snacks. 0 while only one family raises two pigs. 2 5 Vikge economy . Some work as porters. it takes less than two hours on foot to go to Village B. The village is not accessible by road. the village leadership is left in the hauds of a traditional leader whose authority i not s altogether decisive. 2 0 . Generally. From Village A.

Indeed. The two villages are in close proximity. both Lahu and Akha communities are officially recognized as satellite villages of Ban Sob Kai. 84 ih women. Other families n came to join later. Amphoe Chiang Dao. Tambon M u n g Ngai. In 1982. another road branches out not so far from M a e Taeng river and runs about 35 kilometers. A l the villagers practice dry field rice and maize cultivation. l Thus. There are. Chiang Mai.the Lahu settlement wt 88 men. Amphoe M a e Taeng. was led into this area by a traditional leader from Ban Thung Pang Paw. 21 . was born in Ban Thung Pang Paw.1 A m n s r t v location diitaie The village i located in Tambon Kud Chang. From Village B. 3 4 Communicalions . In the Akha village. now aged 53. i practice. to reach Village C a the other end. The Lahu villagers are a l Catholic but the Akha are traditional pantheists. 3 2 Populaabn . only five Lahu and seven Akha households have been granted citizenship. 3. Apart from the two Khon Muang families. l 3 3 ViUage histov . This Lahu leader. A year after (1983). while the farmlands are occupied the villagers have no title n t the land. about 20 households. passing through Ban Sob Kai. The o l o duration of field fallow practiced in Village C ranges from three t five years. In addition. However. a total population of 322. two Khon Mung households 0 also live in the same vicinity. Starting from the Chiang Mai-Fang main road. t 3 5 Viuage economy . two groups of settlements sharing the same village name: one is populated by Lahu of the Bala subgroup. s Chiang Mai. the first group of Lahu settlers. A l the cultivable land used by Village C lie within a forest reserve. and 150 children.CuIturalfeatures a d viliage profiles 3 Village C . but because of the scarcity of cultivable land he and his followers decided to move and to settle down here. mostly from Amphoe M a e Ai. and the other is an Akha village of the Lo M e subgroup. in fact. it takes less than two hours on foot t reach Village o C. Therefore. there are 20 households with 1 7 people. there is no official n headman i Village C. There are 59 households in. six Akha households moved in as the first pioneer group from M a e Chan district of Chiang Rai province. the settlers came i as pioneer farmers when the whole area was unoccupied.

15 babies were born into Lahu families. The school is located in between the clusters of Akha and Lahu. In addition. The village water supply system has already been installed and ten households have constructed proper toilets for their o w n use. Approximately ten rai of orchards have been developed by four households.diarrhoeain summer and colds in rainy and s cold seasons. 6 while 1 households own irrigated paddy fields of altogether about 100 rai. One member in the village is a university graduate. 15 women have now adopted birth control. Wt regard to agricultural problems. Only last year. whereas three persons have finished junior secondary school.nte @ n o tourism on culture in Thailand es f It is estimated that the total area of farmland under shifting cultivation for the Akha group is not more than 150 rai. epidemics occur among domestic a i a s especially during the dry season. Ducks are also raised by al households. The birth rate i high in this village. This makes the Lahu's access t cultivable land on a non capita basis much less than their Akha neighbours. whereas the Lahu as the late comers o occupy 200 rai of fatmland. Water is frequently scarce and insufficient to irrigate both paddy fields and orchards. bananas. 3 7 Hedh service . No government health services are available in Village C. Fruit trees such as lichees. None of the Akha and Lahu households produce enough rice to meet their annual needs. Ten households grow taro as a cash crop. The a i a s can be sold l when a family is in need of cash. Sixteen male and female students are studying outside the community. Diseases common among the villagers are . all households are compelled to resort t wage work. In n fact. (Akha: approximately seven rai per household. field crops are o ih often destroyed by wild boars and tame elephants. 3 6 Education . Three teachers are posted in the school t take care of 45 boys and 40 o girls. However. M u : three rai per household). and the majority earn an income from cutting bamboo f r rafts. nml. horses or cattle. Pigs and chickens are commonly raised among the Akha and Lahu for nml ceremonial purposes and for home consumption. Many villagers have to hire o their labor out outside the village. A village school was set up in 1992 by the Provincial Non-Formal Education Center. Therefore. Only few families own buffaloes. 22 . and mangoes are grown in these orchards. a number of farmers from this village have to rent land for cultivation i Sob Kai a Khon Muang settlement. The villagers who have primary school background number 115.

Later that year.Culturalfeatures and village profiles 3 8 Village organization . In 1992. Figure 5. a youth group was also organized. a village committee comprised of four members was set up. The village school i the only o s government agency located in the village. Map of Village C t Pa Khao Lam o 23 . The group currently has a s membership of 15. There i a village rice bank with 300 thung (1 thung = 20 liters) of rice available t be borrowed.

There are o five tour agencies running their trekking businesses in this area. Trekking Impact of Local People and Culture It is believed that the trekking industry can help generate income among the local people who live along the trekking trail. Although it is common for the trekkers in many areas to pay 20 baht for an accommodation of one night plus one meal i Village A and C very few people earn their n ny income from this. Village A was free from trekkers only five days. a trek starts from Ban Pong Duad.89 women per day). The field record shows that from t s 28 June to 1 August. However. O l three houses in Viliage A are used to accommodate 24 . The number of tourists visiting n o Village A i one day ranges from 2 t 28. According t key informants in Village B.68 men and 4. tourists ride on elephants and cross the Mae Taeng River to Village B (Red M u ) . to Village A (Skaw Karen) and to Ban Pang Kha (Skaw Karen) where there is an elephant camp. Hmong Lahu and Lisu. It is unlikely that an individual tourist can trek along this route on hisher o w n without the accompaniment of a guide. and from there the trekkers either go to Village C or return to Chiang Mai. This makes an average of nine trekkers and two guides visiting l Village A per day. The proportion of male and female trekkers is almost equally distributed on average (4. A l the trekkers coming to this area report that their n journey was planned by tour agencies i Chiang Mai. however. O n this route. the data collected in the course of this investigation indicates that income derived from ihi trekking may not be distributed widely w t i the villages.Trekking Patterns and Situations Normally. Rafting along M a e o a Taeng river starts from Village B t Ban Sob K i (Khon Muang). The ethnic background of tour guides are Thai. the trek lasts three days and two nights. to Ban Pong Noi (Skaw Karen). From there. the highest number of visitors to the n village a one time i 100 i the peak season. Karen. a Khon Muang village where trekkers can pay a brief visit to a natural hot spring. and guides from 1 to 5. or a total of 35 days.

Tourist accommodation i the village n Village shop .

Local sellers approaching the tourists Elephants are brought into the area to entertain the tourists .

drug abuse is not a problem.i practice the tour members can be placed in any household in Village n B for an overnight rest. Even if the two parties are enthusiastic about learning from each other.Impaa of trekking on local lifr and environment tourists. warning signal for drug abuse problems (Chupinit and Geben 1993: 7 ) This implies that the relationship between drug addiction and the tourists can vary f o one area t another depending upon several contributing factors. Whereas i Villages B and C. perhaps. drug s addiction is on the rise.: 12 and Toyota ibid. In addition. Elsewhere. there are at n a least six prostitutes working in the village. Tour guides play the influential role of culture broker (Toyota op-cit. the service of prostitutes was reported t o be available i Village B as well. In this case.:47). o Thus. it can be claimed that all the village households benefit from trekking. In Village A where village cohesion n i strong. but heroin and marijuana are also available i Village B. In relation to the drug abuse problem. As was mentioned before Village B was established mainly t serve trekking tours. This is rm o verified by the incidence of drug abuse i the three study villages where the n extent of drug addiction is not the same. a number of researchers have found a positive correlation between the extent of the problem and the presence of trekking tours (Michaud opxit. Some poor villagers hire their labor out as porters for the tour groups while some others are hired to cut bamboo for rafts. Not only opium. bz extremely difficult t o expect people from two different cultures to learn anything of substance f o rm each other during a trekking tour. A n unknown number of guides are claimed to use the service of prostitutes in the village. s however. snacks. it i reported that visits by trekking tourists is not necessarily a 0. Village B provides a completely different picture. Handicrafts are rarely bought by the tourists i any of the three study n villages. Trekkers are reported t make purchases from the village shops more often in Village C than the other two. It w s reported that prostitution took hold i Village B a about the same time tourism increased markedly i n t n 1988. The drugs are brought into the village either by the n 25 . It is thus through the eyes of tour guides that the local hosts and their foreign guests perceive each other. and other necessary items. According to the informants. Under the circumstances it should. while in Village C the sleeping quarters for trekkers belong to the village headman. ml n There are a few s a l shops i these villages where the tourists can o buy beverages. the language barrier poses a major obstacle. Both the tourists and the villagers have to depend on the tour guides to overcome this barrier.: 45-51).

only one man in Village C was found who n could use English. encouraged by NGOs. there were three robberies of tour groups on the route between Ban Sob Kai and Village C. In May. One may say. undress or change clothes in full view of the villagers. a crime w s committed twice. the way i which the villagers learn from their foreign guests is through observation. or by the guides themselves. As it was mentioned earlier that the language barrier is the biggest obstacle for direct communicationbetween the villagers and the tourists. As a result. both men and women. hanging out their o underwear t dry. There are other things the tourists do which disappoint their hosts. another tour robbery took place. After the robbery in May. It is entirely a matter of cultural differences when tourists. It was found that the criminals were Kbon Muang and A h a . although exotic culture i promoted to attract foreign s trekkers. a Eventually. not so far away from the police unit. Thus. The problems of drug addiction and prostitution are not always the consequence of trekking tours. three robbers committed the same crime. A least t one guide is reported to be addicted to heroin. In brief. o mostly Karen and Khon Muang. The problems related to trekking tours were discussed but a 26 . trekkers were held up by five robbers. or by traders from outside. however.The f e s of tourism on culture i Thailand la n villagers. Impact of Trekking Tours on the Environment There has been opposition t trekking among a number of villages. a local police unit was posted a Pha Ngerb. Inter-village meetings. have been held. Yet a raft camp near t t t o Village B. what the villages have observed from the trekkers does not seem to offer a positive image of their guests. the negative impact of trekking tours on a community with weak leadership can be observed as demonstrated i Village n B. that the level of village cohesion can either prevent or provoke problems. l t l opportunity is provided for anyone to learn much from this ite o cultural encounter. Thus. During the field n investigation i August. the tourists now come less o frequently t this area. but their information and interpretation are highly questionable when viewed from either perspective. the villagers are extremely embarrassed by such behavior. and a month later (June). Unfortunately. From the survey of these three villages. for example. In 1993. Tour guides seem t play the major role as mediators between the two parties. two robbers were killed by the police and three more were arrested.

This problem is aggravated by the number of trekkers entering the area. One of the problems encountered by local people is that their farms have been encroached on by elephants which have been brought into the area to entertain foreign tourists. such as toilet paper and sanitary napkins can be found on the river banks and. there were 274 tourists over 35 consecutive days. sometimes. Normally.Impact o trekking on local lf and environment f ie satisfactory solution to the problems has not yet been found. Unless a more sanitary means is found such il practices wl have disastrous environmental consequences. elephants have to be brought in from many areas and their number makes it most difficult for elephant keepers t control them properly. according to our field record. human waste ot as well as garbage should not be disposed of near or in waterways. If only half of them make use of the "river bank toilet". bamboo n thickets i the area have been over-exploited due to fact that a raft made of bamboo can be used for only a limited time. Despite the fact that bamboo cutting and raft making offer a good chance for local people to earn extra income throughout the year. o Another problem that has become increasingly serious is the cutting of bamboo. Since bamboo has been one of the o most important sources f r domestic use for a wide range of purposes. These elephants also destroy wild banana trees in the vicinity of the headwaters. For example. in the rivers. toilets are not yet available and tourists find it most convenient to use sites near the waterway as their toilet. The villagers find it m s annoying that the river is polluted in this way. 27 . In Village A and B. Disposable waste. local people are now finding it extremely difficult to find sufficient bamboo either for home consumption or for other domestic purposes. there would be more than a hundred toilet users monthly on the bank. During the peak trekking period. In recent years the villagers have witnessed a decrease in the bamboo forest.

Bamboo thicket Disposable waste along the trekking mute .

it i common for highland communities to find that their farmlands are constrained by state laws. In other areas. there are other factors contributing t the different impact on local people and their culture. be it a national park. the local inhabitants are deprived of their customary use of the land.--before drawing any conclusions. farmland has become scarce and the majority . This may require wider and more intensive investigation -. Nowadays. Such modem laws designed t preserve the natural environment o contradict customary landuse practices among the local residents. but i n n another thexge not. Even though the local people are well aware of their passive role i this business. the traditional cycle of field fallow has been shortened G-the extent that rice yields are much lower than in the pgt In the other two villages. or forest reserve. Thus. legally no one is any longer allowed t till o the land. villagers are encouraged to produce more and income can be distributed among a wider group of villagers. The trekking business has made its presence felt in a number of highland villages. The three study villages are no exception. 29 . in certain areas where trekkers spend mqre on handicrafts. The problems of drug abuse and . although the intention is to preserve the environment. or wildlife sanctuary. the distribution of income derived from the trekking business is more limited. prostitution are found closely associated with trekking tours i one area. This economic expectation was equally shared among the s key informants of all three villages. villagers s i l expect economic benefits f o the tl rm trekking business. As a o o word of caution. _ . In the Karen Village A.--l i ihn of villageTf-have to resort to wage work. A l these villages l e w t i the boundary of forest reserves where. one needs t take into account the contextual and situational analysis of trekking t u i m before generalizationscan be drawn. For example. ors _I Although resentment i expressed by local people about the way in s which trekking is organized.Conclusion The findings from the research projects which have been carried out indicate that the consequence as well as impact of trekking tourism varies. trekking offers a n chance for villagers to earn supplementary cash. Apparently.

me Hcs oftourism on culrure in 7luliland ei Considering the commercial cycle of trekking which can be illustrated i a simplified diagram as following. A Commercial Cycle of Trekking Tour Searching for new isolated traditional villages Plan for new trekking routes - N e w commodities Income generated Adoption of new socio-economic values Traditional villages in transition Tourists'complaint of inauthentic traditional villages 30 . if properly organized. However. the cycle as presently organized does not n seem to be sustainable. Figure 6. trekking can be o n promoted t benefit the local people i the long run.

Unless more serious and well-planned il il measures are taken to ensure co-operation. perhaps. By the time the village has become popular among trekkers. Then comes a time when the guide is compelled t find a more isolated village. the government sector.from the symbolic point of view. no interpretation is either . it wl self-degrade. It is foreseeable that i the trekking industry is left to develop spontaneously on its o w n with considerable competition. 'authentic' tradition that w e s right nor . local communities. these major components do not f work together nor are they all well organized.. to begin w t . Bamboo houses and thatched roofs are gradually replaced by houses of more modem materials. beer. Unfortunately.wrong ' The nature of private enterprise makes the trekking business highly competitive. trekking tourism can be divided i t four interrelated no components. The late coming tourists start to complain about how "unauthentic" the traditional o village is. Both of them are products of interpretation. it was reported that only twenty agencies were registered as members of the Jungle Tour Association in Chiang Mai. he i likely to set up a new trekking route leading to that newly-found and "authentic" 'traditional village. bounded. namely. ih That there has never been a fixed culture. such as Coke. can identify. Since there i no objective. tour organizers or tour agencies. However. the question can be raised: what can be identified as authentic and how can this authenticity be maintained? The situation seems contradictory in a sense that if a tour guide can locate a hill s tribe community which is relatively isolated from outside contact. In 1990. but membership in the Jungle Tour Association has not increased substantially. and tourists. tr+king tourism wl remain far away from sustainability. 31 .Conclusion and reconunen&tions C l u a authenticity is.. ' . In an attempt to look f r alternatives t the current o o il t conventional trekking. a major incentive to draw tourists to utrl trekking/jungletour agencies. Toyota (ibis :24) has pointed out clearly: ". It is estimated that there are over 200 trekking tour agency outlets in Chiang Mai alone. it is understood that both 'traditional' culture and cultural identity are n ceaselessly reformulated and symbolically constructed i the present. As a system. s a l shops pop up one after another with the presence of m o d e m ml commodities. each component wl be examined a length. and coffee.

The effectso tourism on culmre and environment in Thailand f Recommendations Figure 7. Trekking Tour Alternative Government Sector -U i Y 9 I I Culture tourism A Sustainable a Tourist Community organizations Prying into private life 32 .

trekking tour agencies have t get o organized. a number of ideas and activities can be planned and negotiated together. co-operation is the first step towards sustainability. Serious attention o f o should be paid t "eco-culnual trekking" to see i it is feasible t develop. the process must allow for involvement from various sectors. Tour Agencies Serious competition among the tour agencies does not allow for spontaneous co-operation. Not only regulations.Conclusion and recommendations 1. This requires. Tour agencies have to find some means t reduce the degree of o competition and turn competition into co-operation and sharing of benefits. a common place where tour agencies can meet and plan for future co-operation. Regulations. a way i n which the benefits can be shared between big and small companies must be found. The n following are examples of recommendations which should be included i the regulations: 0 0 trekking tour agencies must form a coordinating body with compulsory membership. in this s o case. a fair method has t be negotiated and agreed upon how benefits can be shared between ml big and s a l businesses ' 2 Government Sector . under the umbrella of a trekking tour uniodassociation. Nevertheless. but the whole system of trekking promotion needs to be designed by means of participatory planning. such as: how to upgrade the quality of trekking tours to a level which wl il attract more and new generations of travellers. ih to what extent the local communities can take part in the industry of ecoculnual trekking. The ultimate objective i t find a sustainable basis for trekking tourism. However. how to develop qualified tour guides who perform their functions w t professional standards of etiquette. In order to improve business. the regulations should not be shaped i a topn down direction. first of all. and t avoid a situation i which tour agencies fight among o n o themselves. should be regarded as agreements made ideally with consensus. instead. Once these tour organizers unite. especially in the low season. This can be achieved through the intervention of the authorities through regulations. 33 .

. and NGOs. Whatever the argument may be. Although the strangers who come to visit are customarily treated as the guests. nor the tourists. and-how therwant tihost.a traditional specialist can be invited to il transfer his cultural know-how to the guests.. Thus. / - __ 34 . servicing of trekking toursin every local community should be planned in ih close co-operation wt the tour agencies. To accomplish this. tour . government agencies. agencies. Or. concerns for environment. GLKwho-when-where. and. the feeling of prying into the private life of the villagers i inevitable. Preparation of village organizations is a prerequisite. nor the tourism authority. This can be done through existing community structures such as the Village Committee. t what extent and i what areas those servicing agencies. he i likely to be able t identify the names and. Or. scholars. usages of existing flora and fauna. the Village n ih Committee i co-operation w t the Youth Group can prepare traditional o performances t entertain visitors. the receiving communities must be involved in the planning of the trekking business.. This decision has t t be made by the villagerso . o n (tourism authority and police for instance) can assist trekking tourism more appropriately. The recommendations formulated can only become a reality through l participatory planning wherein a l those concerned are involved namely. Community Organizations The special feature of trekking tourism is that it allows people of different cultures to meet. This type of activity wl make the visit more meaningful. village delegates. * . to determine the location of the local villages they can visit a whatever time they please.n Meus of tourism on culrure in % W e i thought must be given of how t involve local communities i t o no the planning and managing of "eco-culturaltourism". To site a concrete example: if a s o mature villager is hired as a guide assistant. close co-operation is required. local culture and security measures have to be spelt out as part of the regulations. ---. Through these community organizations. p'erhaps. 3. it i not for the tour s s agents.

60)that. . d w + . any culture in this world is a historical product of adaptation. formulate the regulations. However.. it i recommended that learning experiences should be integrated into the existing trekking services. . the villages and the interpretation of culture. 1 * I - ~ . eco-cultural tourism should be developed in the way that introduces learning experiences into the services. . Finally. Training courses should be provided for --------_. o n ^i -7. ”. the local people wl be convinced that preservation of the environmental il as well as the traditional culture can bring benefits t them i a new way. The expectation of -$e trekkers (formed by_-pro_rotional mnpaigk) needs t be restructured in .Conclusion and recommendatiom 4 Tourists . but also il lessen the embarrassment felt between the local hosts and their visitors. s should be perceived of in a more dynamic-= 1. In this way. Tourists need to be provided with information and practical. view. A combination of exotic Cdture. In this regard.. a more sustainable trekking tourism should be placed as the ultimate objective in redesigning the trekking industry.__ the tour agencies and their guides as wellr-asrepresentativesTrom%e local ___-. Thus. 4 . the existing management system allows only the tour guides to play n a decisive role i determining the route. . yet entertaining. Wt this orientation.> - i 35 . experiences. the tourists wl learn il about the interrelationship between the environment and the local people and their culture.” In this light. to motn. Instead. . all parties concerned must participate in the planning process.P - M -yCI--. . --_. To achieve this end. tour agencies must work out plans together with ih community organizations. The formation of a trekking tour uniodassociation with compulsory n membership and the involvement of community organizations i the trekking business are strongly recommended.the -way that the traditional culture o . adventure and love of nature provides a major incentive to draw travellers into the trekking business. culture should not be perceived n of as a rigid entity immune from outside influences through time immemorial.. a more dynamic view of culture has been discussed as i concluded by s Toyota (ibid. 4 In summary.. It may be necessary for the tour companies to reorient their promotional emphasis away from how exotic a hill tribe culture is. it must be emphasized here that the involvement of the local communities wl not only provide rich information to the visitors. * communities. resistance and compromise. co-operation generated by a set of regulations is i p r a t However. i a new context of eco-cultural tourism.

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