Chiang Rai, 19 February, 2016 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) today reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment to promoting responsible tourism at the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2016 (AT&RTCM 2016), which is being held at the Dusit Island Resort Chiang Rai, from 17-19 February 2016.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “TAT recognises this niche event as an ideal platform to reiterate Thailand’s long-term commitment to promoting responsible tourism, especially to the who’s who of the industry. The event attracts 278 delegates and top travel executives who promote adventure and sustainable travel options in destinations around the world. They are here to discuss new opportunities for promoting environmental protection and social sustainability. And, we’ve taken this chance to highlight how Thailand upholds the principles of responsible tourism that will also create sustainability at all levels of society.”
TAT initiated the Seven Greens concept in 2009 to establish a conceptual framework and umbrella theme for the implementation of green initiatives with the ultimate goal towards responsible tourism. In 2012, it began promoting guidelines of eco-friendly attraction management in major destinations, and to-date has endorsed nearly 400 green hotels and 50 ready-to-market eco-friendly products across the country. It has recently launched the Amazing Thailand Green Routes to encourage tour operators to promote products with a friendly environment for foreign visitors to experience local cultures, learn local traditions and lifestyles.
The Thailand Tourism Awards (http://tourismawards.tourismthailand.org/index.php) was initiated in 1996 to reward creative and responsible tourism entrepreneurs, products and services that highlight Thai culture, protect the environment and contribute to society. The vast majority of the Award winners, especially the hotels and tour operators, have been small and medium sized enterprises, as well as the local communities. The Awards presentation is held every two years on World Tourism Day on 27 September.
Some of these award-winning products have also won global awards; such as, Ban Mae Kampong (Mae Kampong homestay), a beautiful village in Mae On District, Chiang Mai, which won the PATA Gold Award 2010 in the culture category; Ban Na Ton Chan Community in Sukhothai, which won the PATA Gold Award 2012 in the heritage and culture category, and Ban Rai Kong Khing, a community-based tourism village in Hang Dong district, Chiang Mai, which won the Tourism InSPIRE Award 2015, as the best community-based tourism initiative.
Mr. Yuthasak said, “These are only some of TAT’s initiatives, which form part of our long-term commitment to promote responsible tourism, and we will continue to do so even more aggressively. However, TAT cannot achieve responsible tourism alone; this requires the cooperation from all stakeholders to join hands together to create the betterment of sustainable tourism.”