Tuesday 22 January 2013

Ecotourism Thailand - Getting the Green Light

I'm a bit of a greenhorn when it comes to ecotourism, but as a passionate traveller and travel writer who has visited 55 countries, I have seen the effects of tourism on communities, villages -- even cities -- and their people.

Cave Lodge, Pang Ma Pa, Mae Hong Son province
I've seen benefits and advantages and progress and prosperity ...

And I've seen defiling and damage and spoiling (a big hello to everyone in Pattaya!).

In the place and the people sometimes.

So while I don't like all these Buzzword Bingo terms (yes, the introduction above has most of these in it in order to attract the search engines: Hello Mr GoogleBot) I am fully on board with the fact that we need to do things differently. Better. Greener. More sustainably. And less irresponsibly. And I'm just talking about myself here!

Elephant ride. I'm the one on the left!
Travelling by plane, bus, car, tuk-tuk, elephant, boat, bicycle and mainly motorbike through Amazing Thailand for the past 25 years has given up countless examples of how things have changed and how they could've been done differently and, yes, better for all concerned.

Fortunately, we are all now collectively more aware and the Tourism Authority of Thailand is now making sustainability a real priority (see their write up on 7 Green Concepts).

Here are three organisations that are also helping to push ecotourism along locally:

Rama 9 Lake, Chiang Mai
There are many more, so feel free to add your link in the comments section below and let others know about it. 

As someone who's lived in several parts of the Kingdom over the years I'm here to show you that Thailand offers a ton of exciting and fun green tourism options ... and you don't have to be some hairy-legged beatnik to appreciate it fully.