First Advisor

Maureen Hickey

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International & Global Studies: International Development and University Honors


International and Global Studies




Heritage tourism -- Thailand -- Chiang Mai, Tourism -- Thailand -- Chiang Mai, Commodification -- Thailand -- Chiang Mai, Cultural property -- Protection -- Thailand -- Chiang Mai




This paper is an attempt to delve deeper into the relationship between tourism and culture in Chiang Mai. The push and pull of these forces is of particular interest. On one side, tourism is beneficial for Chiang Mai's economy, and encourages the preservation of its unique culture. Tourist dollars support local businesses, and any further profits can be reinvested into the local economy. And because many of Chiang Mai's major tourist draws are its cultural attractions, their preservation seems commonsense. But this is not always the case. Oftentimes, tourist dollars are funnelled out of Chiang Mai as packaged tours, luxury hotels, and more of the like are increasingly owned and operated by non-Chiang Mai interests. More important however, is that the tourism industry also negatively impacts Chiang Mai's cultural heritage. Rather than supporting the preservation of the city's cultural foundations, tourism oversees, to a certain extent, its loss. The cultural commodification process, by-products of which are hyper-places, and hyper-traditions, are the cause of this loss. The rest of this paper will include an examination of Chiang Mai, its past and present, its unique culture, and its relationship with tourism. The concepts of hyper-place and hyper-tradition, in addition to their connection to cultural commodification will be established. With these concepts and background in mind, three aspects of Chiang Mai's cultural capital: its Buddhist festivals, its Lanna temples, and its traditional handicrafts will be studied.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier