Bangsaen Coastal Tourism and Management

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Bangsaen Beach is a popular destination for domestic excursionists from Thailand and visitors from around the world. The world population is progressively congregating along the coasts, and the impact of the activities of these visitors are obvious. Tourists at Bangsaen Beach are faced with abundant debris of plastic waste at low tide, traffic congestion during the peak season, and competitive vending businesses in an overcrowded atmosphere. The authors conducted a field study at the beach of Bangsaen, Thailand, to investigate the current beach activities, the attractions, the problems, and the environmental impacts to this coastal destination. As the coastal area is the intermediate zone between the land and sea, its ecosystems and beach attractions are dependent on each other. The presence of peak pressure from tourists and the activities associated with them demand a thorough understanding of the impacts and consequences. The traditional Thai-style vending stalls, sunbeds, and vendors’ competitive business operations create a colorful but crowding phenomena. This paper collected field data, analyzed the problems, and drew findings to propose strategies for the integration of sustainable coastal tourism management at this location. It recommends that a monotonous tourist destination needs to have recreational varieties; traffic congestion needs to have tourist displacement attractions; a degraded beach atmosphere needs to have quality sunbeds and relaxed environment; an informal sector with low-income needs to diversify economic opportunities; and a successful tourism management is based on sound tourism planning and development. Coastal tourism touches upon the local people’s daily lives, economic outcomes, and environmental impacts, which require a suitable strategic management plan.