Tuesday, May 13th: three days left before the big day on Friday. After discussing which parts of our research need some more focus and information to be complete, we headed out into the field again to collect final data. We divided tasks and split the group to be more efficient.
In the morning Carole, Marcia and I went to White Sand Beach in order to hand out some more questionnaires to luxury hotel tourists. Data collection was slow, because it’s low season and there were not so many tourists anymore. After having found a few people who spoke English (or German or French for whom we could translate the questions) we received a call and headed on to the next meeting.
We interviewed a Brit who is running a bookstore and publishes tourist maps and guides for Koh Chang. As a foreigner living on the island for more than 10 years he helped us to understand some issues we were still struggling with, especially the issue of water supply on the island. After having enjoyed an air conditioned room for a while and a cold coke we continued surveying tourists at the beach in Klong Prao. Again it was a challenge to find enough so we spent the afternoon having a long walk in the sun with occasional stops if we found someone willing to participate in our survey.
Soon we were facing the next challenge when suddenly the sandy beach was interrupted by a river. Having spent so much time in the sun already, going back to the main road to make use of the bridge was not an option, so we had to come up with a better idea. We ended up crossing the river in our underwear, holding our bags above our heads. Mission completed. On the other side we finished our survey and went back to Lonely Beach where we were staying.
After dinner we all together discussed four findings and experiences of the day and had a closer look at our questionnaires to come up with some figures regarding tourist’s preferences about towels being washed and about their willingness to pay more for green certified hotels and resorts.
It’s been a long day, but in the end we had the feeling that we filled in most gaps and were confident to successfully finish the data collection phase the next day.
Written by: Malena