This study aims to investigate the reasons for the shutdown of a mobile night market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of tourists was obviously one of the causes but social reasons must also exist. The study investigates territoriality, collectivization and human relations in urban social spaces which are essential for the sustainability of a market than solely short-term profit and unconnected customers.
In this study qualitative methods are used, including reviewing contents, semi-structured interviews with vendors and customers, and informant interviews.
Drawing from urban space theories, this paper argues that trendy markets catering for diverse market segments sustain their business. Once the market has shifted away from local Thai customers to main tourists, it loses its base and becomes vulnerable in territoriality negotiation.
The findings and model provide practice information for local authorities, town planners and night market operators in the design of open-air marketplaces. Such knowledge pinpoints the importance of connecting place and people in order to sustain a business.
Studies on mobile marketplaces are rare. The findings address the “detaching” process and consequence from the perspective of place attachment.
The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/IJSE-04-2021-0218
Chan, S.K.-L. (2023), "The disappearance of Bangkok's Artbox: examining the challenges of sustaining a mobile night market during the COVID-19 pandemic", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 20-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-04-2021-0218
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