This study aims to examine community participation in cultural heritage management with regard to sustainable heritage tourism management in Sukhothai Historical Park (SHP) in Sukhothai Province.
The qualitative and quantitative research approaches were applied; in-depth interviews were conducted with 27 key informants, and 104 questionnaires were distributed among stakeholders and local communities.
The results revealed that sustainable park management has made a positive impact upon local economy, social and cultural conservation of the world heritage site. The Park Authority has developed and conserved archaeological sites with local community assistance, particularly for physical management, but it has not yet used archaeological heritage in the park for more benefits of tourism development.
The results reveal that sustainable park management has made a positive impact on the local economy and social and cultural conservation of the World Heritage city. The Park Authority has developed and conserved archaeological sites with local community assistance, particularly for physical management, but it has not yet used archaeological heritage in the park for greater urban tourism development. Sustainable cultural heritage management in SHP is government-led, so community participation is based upon two-way communication in the form of “tokenism.”
Sukhothai is encouraged to find suitable mechanisms to facilitate multisectoral communication and development to jointly face the challenge of more visitors and urbanization.
Guidelines for enhancing community involvement in cultural heritage management of the park were proposed.
The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University for this research project.
Esichaikul, R. and Chansawang, R. (2022), "Community participation in heritage tourism management of Sukhothai historical park", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 897-911. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-03-2021-0035
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