What can Thailand Learn?: Lesson learned from Case Study of Tourism Development and Management in the Protected Area Sipadan Island, Malaysia

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Pisit Tuntipisitkul


          Marine tourism in the Andaman sea of Thailand after the event of Tsunami within the past 10 years has been growing rapidly both in term of number of tourists and basic infrastructure, particularly for the marine tourism in the marine national park areas. As a consequence many marine national parks in Thailand left facing with many problems that have come along with the rise in number of tourists, for example, Mu Koh Similan National Park, Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park, especially on environmental impact issues such as coral damage, littering, water pollution etc. These ongoing situations raise a concern from many stakeholders led by some well-known environmentalists from different university in Thailand. Which has urge the government to come up with solution and reform the marine tourism management system in Thailand at once. This article recognized the importance to look for lesson learned from Sipadan Island of Malaysia our neighboring country which has many similar characteristics in marine tourism resources like Thailand. In order to analyze the management of marine tourism at Sipadan Island in term of limit number of tourist, carrying capacity, proactive approach from past to present. Most importantly what can one learn and take from this lesson and use it to help find the balance between environmental conservation and managing marine tourism in a sustainable way for the future.


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