There are few things in life more exciting and rewarding than travel and most tourists, quite rightly, happily embrace new travel experiences and relish the opportunity to take a break from their responsibilities at home. Last year, Thailand was one of the most-visited countries in the world and we hope the growing number of visitors to this amazing country will also embrace their responsibilities to the places they visit and consider their impact on them and the kind of footprint they wish to leave.
So when it comes to booking your Thai holiday, take a moment to consider where you’re going, what you’ll be doing there and how it will affect the area, not just during your stay but after you leave and return home. Read on for some quick and easy ways you can leave a positive footprint and our pick of some travel resorts and operators who support sustainable tourism in Thailand.
5 easy ways to practise responsible tourism
- Swot up
A little bit of knowledge can go a long way, so find out a bit about Thailand and the area you are visiting before you travel. Understand its culture and don’t be ignorant of its customs and laws.
- Support the local economy
Shop local, eat in local restaurants, buy locally-made souvenirs and take time to interact with the locals.
- Think about the animals
Refuse to participate in activities that are cruel or stressful to animals.
- Go green
Ecotourism respects the biodiversity and ecosystems in the areas you visit. Look for hotels
that employ local people, use local food and contribute to the local community.
Share your new-found knowledge with your friends and family to encourage them to think about responsible tourism, too.
Responsible Thai Resorts and Operators
- Intrepid Travels offers its customers the chance to travel, eat and sleep the local way.
- STA is signed up to Sustainable Travel International, which helps travel providers support environmental conservation and protect cultural heritage.
- The Sarojin, Khao Lak, is a luxury boutique beach hotel, strong on eco-thinking and has a Community Fund that supports projects in the community.
- The eco-friendly Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood offers a combination of luxurious but environmentally friendly design plus unforgettable, authentic Thai experiences.
- Local Alike tours take you into the heart of a Thai community, enabling you to meet locals and gain an insight into the true Thai life.
- The Six Senses resort in Yao Noi is part of the local fabric and committed to preserving the environment with sustainable practices.
- Elephant Hills in Khao Sok National Park, Surat Thani, is a luxury forest camp with a strong focus on offering close elephant encounters with the highest standards of animal care.
- Pioneering health resort Chiva-Som has recently launched its Mangrove Ecosystem Preservation & Science Education Centre ‘Krailart Niwate”, to preserve the last remaining urban mangrove ecosystem in Hua Hin.
We are also delighted to be supporting The Thailand Green Excellence Awards UK in 2016. Run by Wanderlust Travel Media on behalf of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which shine a light on Thailand’s dedication to the conservation of its precious natural and cultural resources, and support its sustainable tourism development. Find out more about the awards here.
If you’re planning a holiday in Thailand or have been already, we’d love to hear all about it, so don’t forget to share all your pictures and travel stories with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.