Community Social Capital Linked to Rural Tourism Opportunities:
The Case of a Potato Village, Thailand
This article presents findings from participatory action research conducted in a potato village that desires to develop community-based tourism. Researchers used a social capital model to understand the readiness of the community in developing tourist products and services. The findings were analyzed through the lens of bonding, bridging and linking networks; the 3 components of social capital. Discussion and suggestions are offered that link social capital components with the ability to innovate community products. The study allowed for the researchers to meet with a wide variety of community members to collect and analyze the findings. The findings suggest that for the community to develop a CBT initiative it would be necessary for a tourism committee to be created that focuses on methods to include community diversity along with creating a potato co-op that would build stronger community trust especially monetarily and would focus on innovation of the main cash product of the village. The village currently lacks entrepreneurial activity among its residence. There is a need for further training in entrepreneurial education as a method to further bond, bridge and link the community and grow a system of innovation.