Sample PHD Tourism & Hospitality Management Dissertation Proposal

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Importance of Sustainable Tourism in the Developing Countries: Analysis of Practices and Challenges in the Case Study of Thailand



Undoubtedly, the tourism industry holds the likelihood of income opportunities and increased employment, particularly for citizens living in developing countries’ urban areas. In this regard, Meyer (2013) stated that tourism is an essential industry that promotes economic development by creating employment that increases people’s income and is hence considered an essential factor in developing economies.

As in a developing country like Thailand, the economy is largely dependent on the tourism industry. Approximately 25 million tourists visited Thailand in 2018 and generated 1.2 trillion revenues in tourism activity across Thailand. It is further stated by Bramwell and Lane (2011) that the tourism industry primarily supports the economy of Thailand.

Thus, the government has taken several effective initiatives to implement sustainability in the tourism industry. However, particular challenges pose a threat to Thailand’s tourism industry concerning its effectiveness and profitability.

In particular, Chiang Mai is the largest city in mountainous Northern Thailand and is considered an attractive land of colourful hill tribes and misty mountainous scenery. The attractive places and beautiful scenes attract tourists to visit and generate revenue for this city. However, certain factors or issues affect the sustainability of tourism and reduce the tourists’ attention towards Chiang Mai.

Concerning this, Ishii  (2012) stated that long-term threats and issues that the tourism industry of Chiang Mai is facing include political matters, regional and local management, accidents and traffic, waste management, and healthcare, water management, deterioration of local culture, competition between local firms and international businesses.

All these factors are making Thailand’s tourism less attractive, particularly in Chiang Mai. According to Chartrungruang (2011), the tourism industry of Chiang Mai is determined to make effective changes in the industry about the attitude of tourists towards the place. It could be possible by making a development plan to maintain the attractiveness and sustainability of this city.

This development plan is likely to address the sustainability problem of Chiang Mai’s environmental, political, and social landscapes and the infrastructure development that will eventually increase the standards of services related to the tourism industry in Chiang Mai.

The following research thus intends can analyse the importance of sustainable tourism the Tourism Authority of Thailand is adopting to address the issues related to tourism management in Chiang Mai and what are the challenges and practices director of the Chiang Mai branch of the Tourism Authority of Thailand is adopting for maintaining the sustainability of tourism industry.

Research Question

Based on supporting evidence, the researcher is likely to address the following research question:

What challenges does the tourism industry in Chiang Mai facing to implement sustainable tourism management?

Aim and Objectives

The following research aims can analyse the importance of sustainable tourism in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Following research objectives have been highlighted that will support the researcher to achieve the main aim of the study:

Tananalyse the factors or challenges that are affecting the management of sustainable tourism in Chiang Mai.

To examine the importance of sustainable tourism in Chiang Mai and how the director of the Chiang Mai branch of the Tourism Authority of Thailand manages the tourism industry’s sustainability.

To provide recommendations to the director of the Chiang Mai branch of the Tourism Authority of Thailand on how they can address the issues and promote sustainable tourism management.

Literature Review

It is stated by Choi and Turk (2011) that UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) has put a great emphasis on the sustainability of the tourism industry and remarkably suggested to developing countries that all tourism organisations should implement quality standards to enhance the overall quality of tourism products and services such as restaurants, accommodation, location, infrastructure development.

Mowforth and Munt (2015) stated that sustainable tourism is a great concept that has achieved high prominence in the modern tourism industry. Iememphasises implementing quality standards in the tourism sector to promote competitiveness and provide reliable and valuable tourism services.

In addition to this, Harris, Williams, and Griffin (2012) stated that the concept of sustainable tourism had acquired great attention in developing countries for making their tourism industry competitive and increasing the demand locally and internationally. However, certain challenges affect the tourism sector negatively, such as improper waste management, traffic jams and accidents, taxation, shortage of labour, lack of political and government support for the growth and development of the tourism sector.

For example, Ping (2011) stated that the growing population in Chiang Mai has increased traffic jams and waste management problems due to narrow roads available for the vehicle. These issues affect both local and international tourists, thus; reducing the attractiveness and competitiveness of ChiangMai’ss tourism industry.

It is also stated that the implementation of sustainability in Chiang Mai’s tourism industry is a significant concern as the local government is not taking any action regarding these problems and unintentionally supporting the destruction of natural resources, pollution, traffic jams, etc. Larsen, Calgaro, and Thomalla (2011) helped this statement and stated that double taxation is also a significant problem for tourists as they have to pay taxes to both local and national administrative organisations for visiting Chiang Mai with the purpose of tourism.

To address these issues, the director of the Chiang Mai branch of the Tourism Authority of Thailand needs to plan and implement development plans to make ChianMai’s’sChianMai’s’s tourism industry more stable and competitive.

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The methodology that the researcher in this research study will use is described under the sections below:

Research Philosophy

Among different types of research philosophies, the research will adopt interpretivism research philosophy as per the nature of the second qualitative study. Interpretivism will allow the researcher to analyse and interpret sustainable tourism in Chiang Mai, Thailand, based on human preferences and observation.

This philosophy will also make it researchable to collect data regarding sustainable tourism in Chiang Mai, Thailand, emphasising analysis of qualitative data over quantitative data.

Research Approach

As per the study’s nature, the researcher will use inductive reasoning to analyse the importance of sustainable tourism with the case study of Chiang Mai, Thailand. This approach will allow a researcher to investigate factors affecting the sustainability of tourism and narrow down the research focus from the particular case of Chiang Mai to the general principle of the Thailand tourism industry.

Research Design

The researcher will adopt a qualitative research design to analyse the factors posing a threat to sustainable tourism in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The adoption of a qualitative research design will allow researchers to gain insight and data from a case study of Chiang Mai to examine the significance of the tourism industry in the environmental, physical, and social development of Chiang Mai in Thailand.

Research Strategy

The research strategy that the research will adopt in this study is the case study. The researcher will analyse Chiang Mai’s tourism industry’s sustainability based on annual reports and government-published data. The case study is a secondary research strategy that will allow the researcher to gain available data related to Chiang Mai’s tourism industry.

Data Collection Method

As mentioned above, the researcher mainly focuses on analysing Chiang Mai’s tourism industry’s case study thus, the researcher will collect data from secondary sources such as books, articles, journals, annual reports, and websites of organisations. They are engaged in providing tourism and tourism-related services in Chiang Mai. All these secondary sources will allow the researcher to analyse the significance of sustainability in Chiang Mai’s tourism industry.

Data Analysis Technique

After collecting the data from secondary sources, the research will use a content analysis technique to analyse the content obtained from viable and authentic sources regarding sustainable tourism management in the case study of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The researcher will make interpretations based on content published in available sources and existing literature.

Research Limitations

The researcher might encounter several limitations during the execution of the following researcher study. However, inaccessibility to the data available of secondary sources like annual reports, websites, and journals will make the researcher unable to attain the objectives set for this particular study. It will cause a significant restriction for the researcher in the completion of research successfully.

Time Schedule for Research

The schedule that is allocated for the whole research study is based on activities that need to be done on the assigned date or deadline as defined below mentioned table:

Activities Weeks
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Project Proposal Submission
Submission of Literature Review
Data Collection
Analysis of Collected Data
Final Thesis Writing

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Bramwell, B. and Lane, B., 2011. Critical research on the governance of tourism and sustainability. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(4-5), pp.411-421.

Chartrungruang, B.O., 2011. The model of Sufficiency Economy Philosophy: application to the tourism industry in Chiang Mai, Thailand. International Journal of Asian Tourism Management, 2(2), pp.134-44.

Choi, H.C. and Turk, E.S., 2011. Sustainability indicators for managing community tourism. In Quality-of-life community indicators for parks, recreation and tourism management (pp. 115-140). Springer, Dordrecht.

Harris, R., Williams, P. and Griffin, T. eds., 2012. Sustainable tourism. Routledge.
Ishii, K., 2012. The impact of ethnic tourism on hill tribes in Thailand. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(1), pp.290-310.

Larsen, R.K., Calgaro, E. and Thomalla, F., 2011. Governing resilience building in Thailand’s tourism-dependent coastal communities: Conceptualising stakeholder agency in social-ecological systems. Global Environmental Change, 21(2), pp.481-491.

Meyer, D., 2013. Pro-poor tourism: From leakages to linkages. A conceptual framework for creating linkages between the accommodation sector and ‘poor neighbouring communities. In Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals (pp. 131-156). Routledge.

Mowforth, M. and Munt, I., 2015. Tourism and sustainability: Development, globalisation and new tourism in the third world. Routledge.

Ping, X., 2011. Environmental Problems and Green Lifestyles in Thailand. Assumption University [pdf] Retrieved from:. http://www. nanzan-u. ac. jp/English/aseaccu/venue/pdf/2011_05. pdf.

Wongtada, N. and Krairit, D., 2017. Survival of a market leader in regional integration of emerging economies: A case study of Thailand’s tourism industry. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 23(1).

Frequently Asked Questions

To write a Ph.D. dissertation proposal:

  1. Choose a research topic.
  2. Develop a clear problem statement.
  3. Outline objectives and methodology.
  4. Review literature.
  5. Present a timeline.
  6. Seek feedback from advisors.
  7. Revise and finalize the proposal before submission.