2014 Thailand Green Excellence Award Winners Announced

HRH Princess of Thailand Presents TAT’s 2014 Thailand Green Excellence Awards

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) UK is pleased to announce the results of the 2014 Thailand Green Excellence Awards, UK. 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 (AS400) at World Travel Market, Monday 3rd November 2014.

The 2014 winners are:

Animal Welfare

Winner: Soi Dog Foundation

Collected by: Peter Egan (actor & ambassador for Soi Dog)

Contact: John Dailey – john@soidog.org

 

Community Based Tourism

Winner: The Sarojin

Collected by: Sarah Habicht (PR Representative, Hume Whitehead)

Contact: Kate Kemp – kate.kemp@sarojin.com

“The Sarojin team is extremely honoured and proud to have been awarded the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Green Excellence Award 2014 for Community Based Tourism.  A key company priority is to create environments for guests at The Sarojin to have the opportunity to really “touch and feel” Thailand, its people and way of life and in a sensitive and respectful way with local communities.  Such a meeting of two worlds when sensitively conducted is one of the true wonders of travel and tourism and contributors to its success.  This award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the company’s philosophy and the staff’s embracement of this; their hard work and truly exceptional spirit”. Kate Kemp, Owner & Executive Director of Sarojin

 

Nature, Maritime & Heritage

Winner: Soneva Kiri

Collected by: Arnfinn Oines

Contact: Arnfinn Oines – arnfinn@soneva.com

 

Volunteering

Winner: Andaman Discoveries

Collected by: Simon Pickup (on their behalf)

Contact: Lindsey Reding – info@andaman.discoveries.com

 

As the standard of nominations was so high again this year the judges also offered 3 Highly Commended awards in 3 categories:

Animal Welfare:

Highly Commended: Elephant Hills

Contact: Chris Kaiser – chris@elephanthills.com

 

Community Based Tourism:

Highly Commended: Andaman Discoveries

Contact: Lindsey Reding – info@andaman.discoveries.com

 

Nature, Maritime & Heritage:

Highly Commended: Trash Hero Thailand

Contact: info@trashhero.org

 

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, Sustainable Tourism Manager, ABTA
  • Sally Felton, Head of Programmes, The Travel Foundation
  • Adrian Bridge, The Telegraph Media Group
  • Mandy Nickerson, Consultant
  • Lyn Hughes, Editor in Chief, Wanderlust Travel Media

Chair of judges Lyn Hughes said, We were all very impressed with the standard this year – the standard of nominations this year was exceptional. It was heartening to see the vision, passion and innovation that so many organisations, both big and small, are bringing to their businesses.” 

More about the winners:

Animal Welfare

Winner: Soi Dog Foundation

Asia’s largest animal foundation working with domestic animals. It has now sterilised and vaccinated over 72,000 dogs and cats. As a result of its work, Phuket is officially rabies-free therefore improving the safety of visiting tourists. The website offers advice for tourists who are concerned by stray dogs and proactively responds to tourists calls/reports. It is working with the government on the illegal dog smuggling issue and on a new animal welfare bill.

Judges comment: The Soi Dog Foundation demonstrates what a big difference one small organisation can make. They are successfully reducing the population of stray animals; leading the way in eradicating rabies in Thailand; fighting the illegal and dangerous dog-meat trade; and successfully working in animal welfare education. Impressive!

 

Community Based Tourism

Winner: The Sarojin

A luxury tourist resort that positively benefits many local lives, while offering authentic experiences to its guests. The Sarojin works in partnership with the local communities, and brings those communities and its guests together in a respectful and appreciative way.

Judges comment: The Sarojin in the standard by which all community projects should be measured. They continue to develop and improve their offering to both the local community and their guests.

 

Nature, Maritime & Heritage

Winner: Soneva Kiri 

Soneva Kiri is a luxury resort that takes its carbon footprint seriously. It has raised $5.5 to date through a carbon levy on its rooms, has banned imported bottled water, and recycles the majority of its waste. Its sustainability projects have improved the lives of 150,000 people. The company is committed to leading the fight against climate change within the tourism sector. A coral restoration project has already attracted 62 species of fish, while its forest restoration project has planted over half a million trees of 90 different species.

Judge’s comment: If only all hotels were this forward-thinking! Not only is Soneva Kiri doing an incredible amount of good work in the preservation of the natural world, but also they are actively trying to reverse the harm that has already been done, and are persuading other hotels to do the same.

 

Volunteering:

Winner: Andaman Discoveries

Andaman Discoveries is a social enterprise that provides authentic community-based tours, study trips, and volunteering opportunities. It works with carefully selected local partners that provide essential care and services to disadvantaged children in Southern Thailand. Its partners include a school for disabled children, an orphanage, and a learning centre for Burmese children.

Judge’s comment: It is rare to come across a volunteering organisation that is as well thought-through, transparent and honest as Andaman Discoveries. They really are trying to use volunteers in a productive way to improve lives.

 

Background to the Thailand Green Excellence Awards, UK

The Thailand Green Excellence Travel Awards UK is 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 success of this years awards, now in their 8th year. Over 3,100 unique users visited the awards website and there were 456l nominations for 81 different organisations (an increase from 65 organisations in 2013). It is both encouraging and inspiring to see a fast 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 Editor in Chief: lyn.hughes@wanderlust.co.uk

Find out more or nominate for 2015 at: www.thailandgreenawards.com/