SOCIAL NETWORKS AND CULTURAL TOURISM: A MIXED-METHOD STUDY OF THE DOMESTIC ELEPHANT COMMUNITY MODEL IN NORTH-EASTERN THAILAND
The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between social networks and cultural tourism in the elephant-owning community model, north-eastern Thailand. The study employs a sequential mixed-method approach, comprising a qualitative phase (using an inductive approach) and a quantitative phase (a deductive approach). In the qualitative phase, data were collected from 20 key informants, and the second phase involved a sample of 118 members of the elephant-owning communities. Our qualitative study indicates that interpersonal relationships, family ancestors, mahout groups, social status and interdependence of groups contribute to creating the social networks of cultural tourism in elephant communities. The quantitative study shows that the strength of a social network ( = 3.51, SD = .650, R-squared = .810) accounts for 81% of the model’s predictive accuracy.