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Pairach Piboonrungroj

Logistics and Supply Chain Research Centre

Faculty of Economics, Chiang Mai University

239 Huay Kaew Road, Muang District,

Chiang Mai Province, Thailand 50200

E-mail address: me@pairach.com

Korawan Sangkakorn Social Research Institute, Chiang Mai University

239 Huay Kaew Road, Muang District,

Chiang Mai Province, Thailand 50200 E-mail address: korawana@hotmail.com

1 Paper presented on World Conference on Hospitality, Tourism, and Event Research 201325-28 May 2013 at Bangkok, Thailand


Many countries raise their culture as the key factor in their tourism pursuits, especially aesthetic or historic countries. Such key factors include not only the way of life, and cultural performances such as cultural dance, but also temples and ancient sites. Moreover culture has been applied in souvenir designs for tourists such as ancient site models, textile patterns, and several types of decoration.

According to a study of Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is based on 2,227 observations of international tourists to the Greater Mekong Sub Region in November December 2004, it was found that the most favourite tourist activity is local food testing (82%) followed by sight seeing (75%), local souvenir shopping (75%), visiting art and cultural sites (55%), visiting natural parks (33%), and visiting cultural communities (21%), whereas tourists traveling to Thailand spend 45% of total expenses on shopping (as the highest expenditure) which makes Thailand the second country of highest expense on shopping (the first is Yunnan province in China PRC). Additionally, Thailand has the highest score of diversity of products and value for money (cheap relative price). The ADB study also concludes that tourists who travel to sun, sand and sea sites are not likely to be interested in cultural tourism and local handicraft souvenirs. The recommendation of tourists who visit art and cultural sites is to develop a cultural tourism book in various major languages, especially for the places that do not allow tourists to take photos.

Chiang Mai is well-known as one of major provinces of Thailand as an aesthetic local culture destination. Chiang Mai is one of the first 4 cities which have international tourists of 39% of all international tourists in Thailand (Kaosa-ard et al., 2007). Whenever Chiang Mai is presented, the beautiful nature, which is surrounded by mountains and forests, is always highlighted. Impressive characteristics in the friendliness of local Chiang Mai residents also fascinate both Thai and international tourists who travel to Chiang Mai. Thus, a study of cultural tourism in Chiang Mai is of utmost important for planning tourism development in Chiang Mai, because the image of Chiang Mai in the tourist sight is as a cultural destination.

Previously, Chiang Mai tourism concentrated on tourist attractions such as ancient

Since 2009, tourism industry in

We can measure from the decrease number of tourists

temples and places as well as other natural attractions.

Chiang Mai had been slow down.

visits Chiang Mai and decrease tourism income. Tourism in Chiang Mai is continuing unpopular because of the internal political crisis, world economic crisis and undeveloped tourism goods and services by creativity and innovation. Creativity will be an importance role in the development of cities and increasing tourists’ destinations. Conceptualizations of cultural tourism have commonly postulated the transient consumption of aesthetic ‘difference’, of the often exotic ‘other’, in the search for the sincere or the authentic (MacCannell 1973, 1976; Urry 1990, 1995 in Richard and Vivien 2003). Creative Tourism’ has been increasingly applied as an extension of ‘Cultural Tourism’ (Richard, 2005; Richard and Wilson 2006).


The creative economy is not a new thing for Thailand. It is the form of culture and wisdom, of which the country has accumulated through body of knowledge, idea, wisdom, and strength of culture as well as biodiversity to be further developed and integrated with modern technology. The 11 th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2012-2016) is plan to create a new look of economic system, “Creative Economy System”, for Thailand.

The scope of Creative Economy of Thailand should be divided into 4 groups (NESDB, 2009). The first group includes the inheritance and culture which is a variety of biodiversity. These include cultural tourism, traditional medicine, herb, spa and food. The second group refers to skilled labor and cultural industry (including arts and culture).The third group means creative works and design which cover fashion, architecture, advertising and software. The forth group is the modern media or entertainment and digital content.

The effort to move the country forward with the creative economy was a major change in Thai society. This development model is in line with Thai culture and lifestyle. The model also reflects the great potential of the country to stand on its own feet. Moreover, it is also in line with “Sufficiency Economy” philosophy, initiated and developed by His Majesty the King.

Thailand has a long history of culture and creativity in arts, crafts, performance and design. The Government’s 9th and 10th five year plans mentioned creativity as well as innovation. The Office of Knowledge Management and Development (OKMD) was

established in 2004 and the Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) was established under OMKD’s auspices in the same year.

The conceptual framework for The 11 th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2012-2016) said a creative economy would ‘promote economic structural adjustments particularly in production and service sectors for more value-added, thereby creating new business using the hidden potential of Thai society. This top-down analysis is correct but under previous plans the government seems to have failed to connect its strategic ambitions with what happens at the level of individuals and markets.

Creative Thailand Projects aimed to develop Thailand to a creative industry hub in ASEAN and increases the country’s proportion of creative economy value from 12 percent to 20 percent of GDP by the year 2012. The development of Creative Thailand became a model for other developing countries trying to boost the creative economy. Thai Government pays attention to Creative Economy, such as Ministry of Industries funded Creative Lanna Project for 4 provinces in the upper north of Thailand, Ministry of Cultural will promote 3 cities in Thailand to be the Creative City Network of UNESCO (Phuket: City of Gastronomy, Pattaya:

City of Film, and Chiang Mai City of Crafts and Folk Art), and Ministry of Commerce enhances 10 Creative City Prototypes.

Creative City of imagination must identify, nurture, attract and sustain talent of it is able to mobilise ideas, talents and creative organizations in order to keep their young and gifted (Landry, 2006). Creative city is an urban complex where various sorts of cultural activities are integrated into the city’s economic and social functions. Such a city is built upon a strong social and culture infrastructure to have relatively high concentrations of creative employment. Moreover, creative cities tend to be attractive to an inward investment due to its well-established culture facilities. In such a city, creativity, rather than location, natural resources and market access, is a principal key to urban dynamism. Thus, this research aims to analyse, synthesize, and formulate structural knowledge of creative cities.


This research designed based on the theoretical framework of the tourism supply chains developed by Piboonrungroj and Disney (2009). Tourism Supply Chain Management (TSCM) is currently emerging as a new research agenda (Song, Liu and Chen, 2012; Zhang et al., 2009). One of the reasons for this is that SCM has already become a critical source of an organisation’s competitive advantage (Cao and Zhang, 2011; Christopher, 2011) and sustainability of the tourism firms (Schwartz et al., 2008; Font et al., 2008). Thus SCM is considered to be a vital part of this kind of business. However, research on TSCM is still rather immature and very limited at the moment (Song, Liu and Chen, 2012; Zhang et al., 2009). Consequently, the objective of this section is to provide a research framework for TSCM research. This framework is then used to review the TSCM literature.

This study has defined culture tourism as including visits to temples/historical places, festivals/traditions, shows, museums, cultural communities, religious activities, and places that sell cultural souvenirs. Thus, cultural tourists are tourists whose first three reasons for visiting Chiang Mai include cultural tourism.

This study applied both qualitative and quantitative methods. The research process can be listed as following.

1. An exploratory study of the selected area (old town)

2. Focus group meeting with the residents in order to develop the network and to

understand the fundamental background, culture and get to know key persons in the community

3. Select the potential community in the old towns of Chiang Mai

4. Community survey to collect general information including demographics data,

economy, social and cultural background












6. Data collection on site

7. In-depth interviews with residents and entrepreneurs


This study has developed the framework for an analysis of the logistics of the cultural creative tourism in the community. The concept of five principle factors was developed. In the conceptual framework, we proposed that the logistics system for supporting cultural creative tourism should include infrastructure, information, intelligence, identification and innovation. Drivers that enable and barriers that pull back the development in these five factors were identified in the Table 1.

Table 1: Five Is for logistics development of cultural creative tourism in a community








Roads, water, electricity







Opening hours, map, list of activities and products










Statistics about demand, supply and related factors











Social and cultural capital




New things about the destination

Human capitals



Source: Author

Table 1 not only shows the key factors in logistics development in a community to support cultural creative tourism but also illustrate the potential success factors underlying the community as a tourism destination. Well the findings of the case study show that infrastructure and intelligence is the key bottle for the community as they are external factor outside the control of the organizers of the development plan. The strenghts in the information provided to the tourist and the facts that the destination is already close to the are where many tourist accommodation are. However, intelligence of the customers is also another key factors that is still under the development as the destination has just been initiated.


Recently creativity has become a major factor in both developing and developed countries. Creativity uses culture, knowledge and talent to instigate change and drive innovation. These trends are encapsulated in the term ‘creative economy’ which brings together creativity as a source of personal well-being and of economic growth. It marks a break with previous economic systems which tended to devalue the individual’s personal involvement in their work. This paper advanced the knowledge of the tourism logistics including the conceptual framework and practical applications. To support the activities in the creative tourism, logistics management is critical in terms of both reduce costs and increase tourist's satisfaction.


The authors would like to thank National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) for the research grants.


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