The purpose of the report is to conduct a study on factors influencing tourism with specific reference to a tourist location. Koh Tao, an island in Thailand is a well-known tourist attraction which offers some beautiful scenic beauty and water activities. Despite the amenities of the location there are factors that impact the popularity of the place amongst the visitors. The external factors mainly environmental and ethical issues act as threats to the island which have been briefly discussed. Competitor analysis is also provided for an overall understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the tourist locations, thus enabling recommendations to mitigate the chances of negative impact and ensure beneficial returns.
Tourism industry has gained a strong hold in the business world. With infinite travel destinations, the tourism sector is pacing at a booming scale to make the utmost profits. The governmental regulations and initiatives for improving tourism in different countries is an added advantage to the industry. The value of a place attracts the interest of the visitors thereby contributing to the developing tourism value of the place. Some places are naturally beautiful and attractive without any external intervention. However, the external factors are always at play and determine the value of a particular location. At the same time, the popularity of the tourism industry has given a new definition to motivation factors for drawing more tourists through following of tourist motivation theories. In this report, the visitor behaviour and management would be briefly elaborated with specific reference to a tourist location and further aided by condition that exert an overall impact on the demand of the place as a tourist spot.
Koh Tao island meaning “Turtle Island” is a beautiful island in Thailand covering an area of 21 km. It is a part of the Chumphon Archipelago situated on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. According to a survey in 2006, the official population of the place was approximated to a count of 1382 people the main settlement of which is Ban Mae Hat. It is a well known tourism spot in Thailand and its economy is dependent on tourism only, mainly a sport activity, scuba diving (Kosamui.com, 2019).
The place has a number of unique selling points that attracts the tourists to take a tour of the beauty. Koh Tao has the perfect white sand beaches surrounded by the sparkling water boundaries of the Gulf of Thailand. Coral reefs are also present offering a vibrant view and homing bright and colorful creatures of the sea. The recent developments in the area offers preferred facilities to every kind of tourist in form of restaurants, guesthouses or nightlife. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, this tropical island offers serenity of the paradise. Apart from the beaches, Koh Tao is extremely popular for its scuba diving activities (Tourismthailand.org, 2019). The underground beauty takes the visitors to another world providing a landscape of turtles, reef sharks and many more.
The support of stakeholders is of utmost importance to the tourism industry, as opined by Ray (2015). The major stakeholders are the government departments, quasi-government organizations, along with local councils, non-governmental organizations related to tourism and other private tourism organizations (Tourismthailand.org, 2019). All of these put their efforts and maintaining the sustainability of the place because it would generate visitors that will be beneficial for the industry, as well as the economy, points out Van Vuuren & Slabbert (2012).
As the name goes, Koh Tao houses turtles within its crystal-clear blue waters along with the other beauties that mark the place. The main motivations for the visitors to pay visit once in their lifetime are the Koh Tao viewpoints which offer amazing views of the island to the Gulf of Thailand. Some of the beautiful viewpoints include Love Koh Tao Viewpoint, Mango Bay Viewpoint and John Suwan Viewpoint all of which offers different visibility to the surrounding beauty making it a significant point for wooing the tourists (Tourismthailand.org, 2019).
Scuba diving is the best attraction of Koh Tao allowing entry to the awe-inspiring world of colors. Beaches do have this option, but the exclusive call out of the Koh Tao Island is the coral reefs and the ocean life which is better than that of many places. Apart from these two, the place is quite in its progressing stage having a good number of restaurants and night life amenities that is a must requirement for visitors.
Every industry is influenced by its external factors either positively or negatively. Generally, the manmade rules aim at benefitting the industry to the highest level. However, the social and environmental factors are not completely under control and require extensive concentration to understand the present situation and act accordingly, as observed by Kozak & Kozak (2013).
Exploitation of natural resources is a serious and grave environmental issue that affects the success of the destination, as remarked by Yousaf et al. (2018). Deficiency in the surrounding beauty would fail to charm the tourists thus calls for active intervention that would ensure that the environment is maintained its best to preserve the beauty it has and keep it safe from any degrading agent. Similarly, every sphere has a set of ethical standards that indicates about success of the destinations. Koh Tao Island has a number of reasons to attract visitors thereby contributing to the Thai economy. However, there have been instances that have put a dark name on it. Recently, there have been events that involve the death of foreign tourists in the island (Cobaj, 2014). This raises doubt in the mind of the tourists about the safety of the place to visit which might lead to decreasing number of tourists if the situation is not tackled immediately. As of now, this is the biggest threat to Koh Tao island also involving cases of human trafficking that threats both immigrants and local Thai people (Dickinson, 2017). It would drastically level down the tourism rate of the place. Thus, top priority is needed to establish a safe and secure zone for tourists so that they do not get discouraged to visit the place.
Competition always helps in improvement and in every industry, it has a considerable role to play. It always motivates to implement ways for bettering one thing so that it can maintain its position of superiority over the other. Considering scuba diving as the main source of tourist attraction of Koh Tao, its biggest competitor could be identified as Shark Island, often referred to as the best water site in the Gulf of Thailand (Kosamui.com, 2019). It has the greatest biodiversity of marine life that gives a lifetime experience to the tourists. Both are best in their own, but there are certain limitations for each that keeps the way of improvisation open for all time designing new plans to cover up the flaws and make the most out of the available resources. Although Shark Island is a competitor to Koh Tao in respect to scuba diving, the later has an advantage because it is not a seasonal tourist destination, therefore it can make the most benefits through proper utilization of its present resources.