Main Article Content
Health tourism, community-based tourism development, responsible tourism, participatory action research, Thailand
There has been a boom in health tourism. A growing number of tourists travel to other countries for preventive and rehabilitative care and seek detoxifying, destressing and healthy activities. Based on a community-based tourism project, this study aimed to explore the possibilities of developing health tourism in Ban Kaset Puttana, a village located in the suburban area of Ubon Ratchathani in Thailand. The one-year project based on participatory action research covered the entire process of forming thematic alternative health tourist products by employing the concept of natural-based health care. The project was then followed by 10 semistructured interviews with local villagers to investigate their perceptions about community-based tourism development. This research project resulted in the development of community-created sustainable rural tourism. After the research project, villagers indicated that while health tourism development has both positive and negative impacts on their village, the positive impacts far outweighs the negative ones.