GSB SMART Homestay
Government Savings Bank
INTRODUCTIONThe Thai government has a policy to directly distribute income from tourists to villagers by village tourism, therefore, revenues would flow from tourism industry to grassroots economy and also increased value in the service sector that support tourism in the villages. According to the 12th national economic and social development plan and from natural resources problems that have deteriorated due to the use of the ecosystem beyond the potential for recovery, pollution problems that affect the quality of life of people, income distribution problems that creates a gap between the poor and the rich and moving of the workforce from rural to urban areas.
Therefore, GSB started “GSB SMART Homestay” project to support village tourism and develop village potential in the form of “SMART Homestay”. The project aims to increase economic value for villages by combining the idea of ecotourism with art, culture, tradition, way of life, local wisdom, goods and services in village.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYGSB adopted the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy of His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej (King Rama IX) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for its internal organisational management including introducing new products under the concept of “GSB Creates the Pink World” comprising three components: economy savings, society savings and environment savings.
“GSB SMART Homestay” implementation started with collecting and analysing problems and determining the action plan, establishing criteria and community recruitment to participate in the project. 100 communities were recruited by criteria qualification, collaboration with partners in order to develop villages, monitoring and evaluating the implementation by the concept of the project which is SMART (System, Marketing, Adaptation, Relationship, Thailand 4.0) and STYLE (Service/ Staying, Trip/ Tour, Yes (Customer Satisfaction), Learning, Environment).
Moreover, the project had developed traditional products/services packaging and marketing to innovations such as full day trip package which would include adventure activities, local cultures, local foods, and health care services. For marketing, the project promoted new online platform and social media channels.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTIn 2018, the project had developed and trained 100 villages by using the SMART concept. After that, GSB had collected data and in-depth face-to-face interviews involving developed villages and stakeholders of the villages. The results were:
- Economic result: the project increased revenue for 54% and increased savings for 139% in the villages.
- Social result: the villagers had better health and adequate facility for their family. The project also created better relationships, harmony and support, as well as provided villagers the opportunities to do social activities.
- Environmental impact: the project helped improving community environment and natural resources such as cleaned water and more forest in the villages.
FUTURE DIRECTIONThe project was implemented under PDCA method, which could help villages to plan, launch their plan, check, evaluate and improve when recognizing problems by themselves to develop their homestay businesses continuously after the project ended. GSB has also kept the village information including local wisdoms/ cultures and local innovation in the website (http://www.gsb-pracharat.com) and the guidebook.
GSB aims to continue creating sustainability in order to lift up quality of life and pride of people in their homeland by dividing activities in the dimensions of Economics - to create knowledge and occupation by finding markets for them to generate revenue, and keep track of their financial records; Social - to strengthen relationship and collaboration for people in the villages, help them to conserve their arts, cultures, and local wisdom and keep their local wisdom in the website and guidebook; and the Environmental - to restore village natural resources and environment in order to create abundance of natural resources for villages.
Established by King Rama VI, Government Savings Bank (GSB) is a specialised financial institution focusing on savings and integrated financial services for people to easily access to finance as well as providing financial literacy and strengthening capabilities for SMEs and Start ups.