Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Bangkok Podcast

Apr 16, 2024

This is Part 2 of our interview with Stuart MacDonald, Asian tourism expert and founder of, arguably the best single resource for traveling in Southeast Asia. In this half of the interview, Greg, Ed and Stu revisit the tricky topic of ‘overtourism,’ an issue which attempts to find a balance between economic revenue from tourism, which in theory is good for local economies, and damage to the environment, which of course can in the long run make things worse for local people. Stu gives his take on how to find the right balance.

The old friends then address the perennial (and perplexing) obsession with ‘high-quality tourists’ by the Thai government. Stu gives new insights on the problem of ‘leakage’ (which is almost as gross as it sounds) - revenue from tourism that ‘leaks’ out of the local economy and into foreign investors and companies. It turns out that higher end tourism results in more of this drain, with a lower percentage of revenue actually making into the hands of local people. Backpackers for the win!

Last, the guys discuss the (green) elephant in the room: the decriminalization of cannabis in Thailand and the likely effect it will have on Thai tourism. Stu discusses the likely possibility that more tourists will flock to the Kingdom to experience the new freedom to indulge, but also points out the oversaturation of the market that can turn people off, whether it’s tourists or locals themselves. 

Tune in to hear a true expert’s insights, rather than two random guys yammering! :) 

Don’t forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.