Homestay Tourism and the Commercialization of the Rural Home in Thailand
Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research
International Political Economy
Despite its growing importance to the domestic tourism market in Thailand, and its pertinence to community-based forms of tourism generally, homestay tourism remains a neglected topic. The purpose of this paper is to explore the implications of successful participation in homestay tourism in Thailand. Based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 30 residents of Mae Kampong, a well-known homestay village located in the northern Thai province of Chiang Mai, this paper argues that success in the context of homestay tourism is a double-edged sword, because even when communities succeed in operating a homestay program, this success comes at the price of diminished authenticity, greater dependence on tourism, and enhanced social and economic inequalities. Notwithstanding such challenges, rural communities will continue to respond to tourist demand for novelty and authenticity by commercializing their homes and offering homestay experiences that deliver glimpses of rural life to curious guests.
Homestay Tourism and the Commercialization of the Rural Home in Thailand. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research 20 (1), 2015, pp. 29-50. (Co-authors: Anuwat Churyen and Varaphorn Duangsaeng)