Thailand Green Excellence Award Winners 2013 Announced

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) UK announces winners of the
2013 Green Excellence Travel Awards UK

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) UK is pleased to announce the results of the 2013 Thailand Green Excellence Awards.

TAT was once again honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness Princess of Thailand Ubol Ratanarachakanya Siriwatanaphanwadi to London to kindly present the Awards at a prestigious ceremony hosted on the Thailand stand at World Travel Market, Monday 4th November 2013.

The 2013 winners are…

  • Volunteering – Global Vision International (GVI), Chiang Mai Province
  • Community Based Tourism – Lamai Homestay
  • Nature, Marine and Heritage – Intrepid Travel
  • Animal Welfare – Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre

As the standard of nominations was so high this year the judges also offered 3 Highly Commended awards to…

Community Based Tourism – The Sarojin

Animal Welfare – Elephant Nature Park

Maritime, Nature and Heritage – Pure Blue Foundation

The awards were run on behalf of TAT by Wanderlust Travel Media. Nominations were garnered from both consumers and the travel trade.

The Judges

  • Simon Pickup (ABTA)
  • Salli Felton (The Travel Foundation)
  • Adrian Bridge (The Daily Telegraph)
  • Lyn Hughes (Wanderlust)

Chair of judges Lyn Hughes said, “We had a record number of entries, and were delighted at their quality. Judging took longer than anticipated as we were inspired by so many of the nominations, making it a challenging but enjoyable experience.”

More about the winners

Moved by the plight of the endangered Asian elephant, GVI Thailand (www.gvi.co.uk/location/chiang-mai) runs an elephant reintroduction conservation programme where volunteers conduct research on the elephants and assist local mahouts with a range of projects. The judges said: “This project works on so many levels, from the collection of data on elephants and on Thailand’s biodiversity, to providing revenue to a small Karen village, and helping the community to keep their culture and language alive.”

For 15 years, the Lamai Homestay (www.thailandhomestay.com) in rural Isaan in north-east Thailand has been feeding 75% of its revenue back in to the community. The homestay, which is owned and operated by villager Lamai Ormnok White, allows every member of the community an income – staff work on a rotary system – and they are constantly striving for new ways to benefit local communities. The judges said: “The passion and enthusiasm of the owners of this guesthouse shone through. They have introduced a number of travellers to this little-visited region over the years. We all want to visit!”

Providing small-group adventure tours led by local tour leaders, Intrepid Travel (www.theintrepidfoundation.org) offers travellers the opportunity to experience the best of Thailand’s natural wonders and cultural heritage in a sustainable way. Intrepid was born in Thailand and their passion and enthusiasm for supporting local businesses and charities is inspiring. They use traditional accommodation and public transport where possible and actively educate travellers on responsible travel. The judges said: “Intrepid really go above and beyond what is expected of a responsible travel company. It is committed to supporting local communities while showcasing the best that Thailand has to offer. Outstanding.”

With more than half of Thailand’s gibbon population wiped out in the last 30 years, the future of the white-handed gibbon looked bleak until the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (www.gibbonproject.org) was set up in 1992. A division of the Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand (WARF), the centre has worked to rescue white-handed gibbons from the pet and tourism industry and rehabilitate them back into their natural habitat.
The judges said: “Tourists need to appreciate that if they have their photo taken with a baby gibbon, its mother will have been shot. This commendable organisation is both rescuing and rehabilitating gibbons, and trying to educate the public. We hope this award will give them some much needed publicity and morale support.”

Background to the Thailand Green Excellence Awards, UK
The Thailand Green Excellence Travel Awards UK are intended to highlight and further promote Thailand’s dedication to the conservation of its country’s precious natural and cultural resources, and support sustainable tourism development in tandem with the growing concern we all have for our planet.

“The awards recognise and celebrate TAT’s partners in the travel and tourism industry who have made an outstanding contribution to growing Thailand as a sustainable destination. We are delighted with the number of nominations this year (91 nominations for 65 different organisations), it is so encouraging to see a growing number of travellers take an interest in responsible tourism” said Joanna Cooke, Consumer Marketing & PR Manager for TAT.

Further Information from:

Chris Lee, Trade Marketing Manager, Tourism Authority of Thailand, UK and Ireland
Tel: 020 7925 2511
E-mail: chris@tourismthailand.co.uk

Joanna Cooke, Consumer Marketing & PR Manager, Tourism Authority of Thailand, UK and Ireland
Tel: 020 7925 2511
E-mail: joanna@tourismthailand.co.uk

The awards were run on behalf of TAT by Wanderlust Travel Media (www.wanderlusttravelmedia.co.uk, lyn.hughes@wanderlust.co.uk)

Find out more or nominate for 2014 at: www.thailandgreenawards.com