Journal of Greater Mekong Subregion Development Studies - July 2006

This issue of the Journal focuses on the seminal research undertaken by Social Research Institute of Chiang Mai University (SRI-CMU) on the question: How does community-based tourism (CBT) impact on poverty? Five research papers were selected from the SRI-CMU project. The overview article, Tourism: Blessings for All?, by Mingsarn Kaosa-ard, discusses the returns from tourism and how these returns are being shared from a national perspective. The benefits and the potential negative impacts of tourism are weighed. Mingsarn concludes by calling for government intervention in tourism markets to manage the negative impacts on ecosystems and communities that are eventually borne by society at large. The authors of the other four articles challenge the conventional wisdom that tourism contributes to poverty alleviation and equity. While the authors affirm the importance of community-based tourism in providing much needed incomes and livelihood opportunities at the village level, each case presents unique perspectives and lessons.