The current ASEAS issue presents critical discussions on the topic of tourism and development in Southeast Asia. Tourism in the region has caused increasing socioeconomic inequality and vast disruptions to local ecosystems, societies, and cultures, above all through its rapid expansion that often exceeds local carrying capacity limits. This is often supported through injections of capital by external funding bodies with little local initiative. At the same time, there appears to be an increasing awareness in Southeast Asian tourism that the once ‘toured’ need to experience greater levels of decision-making and power in order for tourism to work as an effective catalyst for development. Researching tourism in Southeast Asia is no longer limited to understanding its impacts as well as local responses and mitigation strategies, but now also focuses on finding practical ways for how tourism can serve as an engine for development. This issue explores a variety of concerns connected to tourism as a tool for development by discussing social marketing in Northern Vietnam, impacts of a mega event in Eastern Indonesia, host-guest encounters in community-based tourism in Northern Thailand, and commodification and politicization of heritage in the context of tourism in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Managing Editors: Claudia Dolezal & Alexander Trupp
Cover Photo: Kosita Butratana
Layout: Thomas Gimesi