Tourism in Thailand's National Parks: The Problems it Brings
"Rainforests are currently being destroyed at a rate of over 200,000 square kilometers a year according to the US National Academy of Sciences" (Wheeler). Some of these rainforests are located in Thailand's national parks. In Thailand, there are 15 national parks set aside for conservation, though only 80% of these parks remain intact today. These Parks represent approximately 13% of Thailand's land. The purpose of these parks is for the conservation of the forests and wildlife, educational tours and research studies, as well as recreational adventure (Wheeler). In 1961, The Royal Forest Department (RFD) of Thailand passed the National Park Act. This act stated that activities which endanger any resource within the park boundaries are strictly prohibited. These activities include settlement, land ownership, grazing, the manipulation of waterways, geological deterioration, logging, hunting, and colleting of forest products. These provisions obviously do not apply to park officials who protect and maintain the park for education, technical research, and facilitate recreational activities" (Pipithvanichtham). One of the main reasons for the Thai government's plan to expand tourism facilities in the national parks is to bring in foreign money into the economy through tourism to these areas. However, there are concerns that the effects of increasing tourism in these areas will lead to mismanagement, corruption, and environmental destruction. Therefore, the Thai government should not be promoting tourism in Thailand's national parks. The government claims that problems associated with tourism in national parks can be dealt with by careful planning and with the participation of government agencies. For example, the RFD is making an effort to protect the National Parks. The RFD plans to update their existing park laws and regulations to make them more suitable for the modern times. The RFD...
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