The impacts of tourism expenditure on the society of Srah Srang Cheung Village, Angkor Park
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With rapid growth of tourism development globally, tourism impacts have been given great attention. Due to its positive economic impacts which are usually cited by many scholars, developing countries focus on tourism as a main strategy to develop their countries. However, socio-economic impacts are usually cited negatively. The relationship between economic and socio-economic impacts is substantial. This research investigated the impacts of tourism expenditure on the society of Srah Srang Cheung village in the Angkor Park, Cambodia. Specifically, the impacts of tourism revenue on traditional farming and on education in the village were examined. A mixed-method approach has been utilised to research impacts of tourism expenditure on the village from different perspectives. Field research started with a survey of 60 questionnaires completed by residents in Srah Srang village to identify positive and negative impacts of tourism, which were then thoroughly studied using qualitative methods. Specifically, a focus group session was held with 15 villagers, followed by 18 in-depth interviews with management levels of local authority, a head tourism office, education (teachers, a school principle, and a chief of Siem Reap education office), an APSARA Authority staff, and in-migrants and observation to obtain high validity of results. The research shows tourism has benefited Srah Srang Cheung village economically and socio-economically. Some traditional employment has changed to tourism employment. However, most villagers have “mixed tourism and non-tourism” jobs. Tourism provides part-time jobs and improves living standards. Tourism employment also helps empower women in the society and promotes local crafts. Tourism also attracts outside workers. In-migration issues do not negatively impact the village, as in-migrants run businesses which provide job opportunities for villagers. In addition, tourism jobs do not hinder children from going to school but the industry offers economic resource to support their education. However, the growth of tourism has resulted in increased cost of living, a negative aspect found to be responsible from tourism as a result of inflation. This research also suggests that there is a need to improve the link between tourism and agriculture and educational strategies for education in the village. In linkages Khmer history, farming was used as a strategy to develop Cambodia’s economy. Thus, traditional farming should be shown to tourists visiting the Angkor Park as well as the village due to the fact that these tourists are interested in culture. In addition, building a middle/intermediate school is necessary to encourage higher educational levels among residents and the adoption of existing policies of the Ministry of Education Youths and Sports.