Applying a tourism micro cluster model to rural development planning: a case study of Kaeng Ruang village in Thailand

  • Nirundon Tapachai Kasetsart University, 50 Paholyothin Road, Jatujak, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand,
Keywords: rural development, tourism micro cluster, resource–based view model, clustering theory, sufficiency economy philosophy


In Thailand, agriculture still plays an important role in the rural economy but is facing several problems resulting in poverty in rural settings. Tourism can play an important role in improving a rural economy in some areas. This paper proposes employing the tourism micro cluster model to address poverty in a poor village in the northeastern part of Thailand. The study also addressed the theoretical foundation of a tourism micro cluster model for a rural village in Thailand that applies concepts derived from a board literature review. Data were collected through both qualitative and quantitative methods to gain insights about problems and potentials for tourism development in the village. The proposed model is built from analyzed data and in the light of resource-based view, clustering theory, and the Thai King’s sufficiency economy philosophy. The proposed tourism cluster is consisted by four complementary businesses including homestay, marked trekking, adventure trekking, and processed malva nut products. 

In light of our analysis, it is evident that tourism clustering is feasible in the context of this locality. The studied village has sufficient resources both tangible and intangible resources possible for planned tourism micro cluster development. However, an attempt at cluster development in the studied village would require an intervention to provide technical assistance from concerned parties e.g. local government in the early stage to build capacity building of local people for running businesses independently and sustainably. Although one of the limitations of this study is to focus on only one village, the case study of Kaeng Ruang village can provide contextual insight and meaningful implications for policymakers when considering clustering as a planned destination development strategy.


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Author Biography

Nirundon Tapachai, Kasetsart University, 50 Paholyothin Road, Jatujak, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand,

Assistant Professor, Doctor of Business Administration, Director of International MBA Program


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How to Cite
Tapachai, N. (2019). Applying a tourism micro cluster model to rural development planning: a case study of Kaeng Ruang village in Thailand. Human Geography Journal, 26, 45-54.
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