The Beach Goes Full Circle: The Case of Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

  • Faye Taylor
Part of the Perspectives on Asian Tourism book series (PAT)


Arguably, one of the most significant factors influencing the development of tourism on Phi Phi Island, Thailand, was the filming of The Beach in 1998. The Beach, based upon the novel by Alex Garland in 1996, describes a backpacker’s quest for an island utopia. Ironically, the novel was not intended to celebrate backpacker culture but to criticise it. On Phi Phi, the primary filming location, both the book and the subsequent film opened the floodgates to millions more backpackers to join the multitude already making their way along the well-trodden tourist trail. In the period prior to and during the filming, the controversy surrounding The Beach was tremendous amongst environmental activists and the media. This chapter explores the debates and controversies surrounding the impact of Fox’s decision to film The Beach on Phi Phi and draws upon longitudinal field research to map the nature of tourism development from the point of filming to the present day. Has The Beach gone full circle?


The Beach Phi Phi Film tourism Fox Stakeholders Impacts 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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