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Platform-mediated tourism micro-entrepreneurship: implications for community-based tourism in Thailand

Morakot Ditta-Apichai (College of Innovation and Management, Songkhla Rajabhat University, Songkhla, Thailand)
Uraiporn Kattiyapornpong (School of Management, Operations and Marketing, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Ulrike Gretzel (Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 15 July 2020

Issue publication date: 8 September 2020




This paper aims to bridge micro-entrepreneurship, sharing economy and community-based tourism (CBT) literature by analyzing the specific ways in which technological platforms mitigate risks and create opportunities that benefit local communities.


Six online platforms (two local and four international) used by tourism micro-entrepreneurs in Thailand were systematically analyzed to compare and contrast nuances in their business models, as well as their features to highlight benefits to CBT. Thematic analysis was used in the data analysis.


Three different types of business models based on tourism offers, membership policy and contributions to the destination community were identified. The variety of tourism offers includes tailor-made tours and private tour guides, local food experiences, skilled workshops and other local/community-based activities. Importantly, Thai platforms work closely with the Thai Government to promote tourism micro-entrepreneurship.


This paper adds to tourism micro-entrepreneurship, sharing economy and CBT literature by dissecting the business models of online platforms and their roles as mediators of CBT, discussing the platforms’ contributions to the achievement of sustainable development goals.




研究发现了三种不同商业模式, 基于旅游产品、会员制、对目的地社区的贡献等三方面。旅游产品包括定制化旅游路线和私人旅游导游、当地美食体验、工坊、以及其他的当地/社区型活动。最主要的是, 泰国网络平台与泰国政府紧密合作, 以促进旅游微创业。


本论文解析了在线平台的商业模式和其对社区型旅游产业的作用, 讨论了平台对可持续发展目标的贡献, 因此, 本论文对于旅游微创业、共享经济、和社区型旅游产业的文献做出贡献。



This paper forms part of special section “Technology in Tourism and Hospitality to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, guest edited by Alisha Ali and S. Mostafa Rasoolimanesh.


Ditta-Apichai, M., Kattiyapornpong, U. and Gretzel, U. (2020), "Platform-mediated tourism micro-entrepreneurship: implications for community-based tourism in Thailand", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 223-240.



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