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Ecotourism in Thailand

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Presentation on theme: "Ecotourism in Thailand"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecotourism in Thailand
Slide 1 Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, A very good afternoon to all of you and thank you for gathering here. It is indeed my great pleasure to be here at the 5th World Ecotourism Conference to share experiences of ecotourism in Thailand. I am so proud and really appreciated to learn that most of you know my country, Thailand. Thanks so much. Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand

2 Tourism in Thailand 2 Slide 2
It has been almost two decades now that Thailand has been proud of herself for the reputation on tourism. We have been successful in tourism businesses internationally and domestically. Last year, tourism growth rate is 19.6% increased and tourism has brought a big volume of income to the country. In the meantime, while a huge number of tourist arrival and related businesses may and can harm our natural and cultural resources, we cannot hope that the new and more sophisticated technology can help rescue or rebuild the natural heritages. That’s just the voice from tourism side. 2

3 Eco-tourism in Thailand
Slide 3 From the nature-lover side, one of government officials, Mr. Sueb Nakasatien (1949 – 1990), who devoted his work for conservation of natural resources, forest, wildlife and watershed, devoted his life to invoke the sense of conservation upon the mind of tourism investors, land developers and nature-destroyers. The Thai society has since then been called to the environment awareness. We have regarded that eco-tourism will play a key role in protecting our natural resources, cultural heritage and environment. 3

4 Eco-tourism in Thailand
Definition by the Tourism Authority of Thailand Ecotourism is a visit to a particular tourism area with the purpose of studying, enjoying and appreciating the natural and social environment based on knowledge and responsibility for the local ecosystem. Slide 4 In Thailand, the term eco-tourism has been initiated by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Royal Forestry Department. The two bodies have tried to encourage the Thai public and tourists to welcome the eco-tourism as a part of conservation tourism that can lead to sustainable tourism.

5 Situation of Eco-tourism in Thailand
Slide 5 Concerns about a strict policies and measures on environmental conservation have been developed. Thailand has formulated policies and strategies for environment conservation, for instant, initiating systems for wastewater treatment and garbage disposal in national parks as well as plans to help improve the people’s livelihoods without destroying the forests. In tourism sector, the government bodies have stipulated standards for activities in ecotourism, such as standards for services for trekking, biking, community-based tourism, as ways and means to overcome current environmental problems. Those standards have been regarded as a tool to tackle problems which may affect the ecotourism businesses in the future. Almost all activities in ecotourism are in the areas of national parks, as well as marine parks and some specific historical cultural centres. In the national parks themselves, there are many strict regulations and measures promulgated to protect forest areas and national parks. Meanwhile proper tourism services in ecotourism sites are provided to raise visitors’ awareness of natural conservation. 5

6 Phenomena of Ecotourism Visitors in Thailand
Slide 6 The number of real ecotourism visitors is still rather low. Mostly, these tourists are included in other types of tourism such as nature-based tourism, agro-tourism, cultural and historical tourism and health tourism. And most visitors to ecotourism areas are Thais or domestic tourists. The reason is the nationwide-campaign for environmental conservation. In Thailand, children in kindergartens are inculcated with love and care for trees and animals, students in elementary and secondary schools are brought to witness the conservation of environment, young people in universities are led to contribute to more environmental-friendly activities, local communities are emphasized on their importance to environmental management, tourism officials are assigned to plus more emphasis on tourism strategy with environmental issue, and the whole Thai public are requested to “Go Green” with “the Seven Green Guides” and Concepts to protect and preserve the environment and to restore quality of the environment.

7 The Living Museum of Mother Nature
The Royal Project : The Living Museum of Mother Nature Slide 7 The Thai public answers to the campaign with different reactions. The most important one is the visit to the Royal Project areas. The Royal Projects or the Royal Development Projects have originated by His Majesty King Bhumibol, from His Majesty’s extensive travels throughout the country. His Majesty the King’s visits to all regions of the country have made him deeply aware of the people’s problems and conditions. Since then the “royal-initiated” projects have all been started. There are more than 2,000 royal projects which have been implemented throughout the country. The Royal Projects cover the whole cases of rural problems in Thailand, from the introducing of new crops to water conservation, from swamp drainage to the preservation of the national forests. In all, the aim is sustainable development, conserving the environment, seeking to restore areas suffered from misuse and improving the living condition of rural people especially in remote areas. In the words of His Majesty the King, “Let those projects function as living museum of Mother Nature”. 7

8 The Quality Experience of Ecotourism
The Royal Project : The Quality Experience of Ecotourism Slide 8 The value of the Royal Projects have come from His Majesty the King’s wishes, implements, study, experiments, his experts’ recommendation and his private fund. Once his projects win satisfactory results, His Majesty passed them on to the government for further development. Some projects have been continued as the private projects of Their Majesties the King and Queen. In the northern part of Thailand, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, the Crop Substitution Project was one of the earliest Royal Projects which His Majesty the King aimed to help the hill-tribe people to stop opium cultivation, and introduced them to grow alternative crops, such as temperate flowers and fruits, as a substitution for opium. And to stop deforestation, His Majesty the King also developed sustainable cultivation methods to replace the destructive slash-and-burn farming used by the hill-tribes. His Majesty has made the land to retain its vitality, and human communities and forest can co-exist harmoniously. The presentation of watershed areas is the most important Royal Project emphasized by His Majesty. He recommended a check-dam or small dam easily built across the watershed to be a reservoir for every community or village. The check-dam also helps lower the speed of water flow in order to keep water. Check dam can be built with logs, stone, or sandbags. 8

9 Ecotourism Destinations
Slide 9 The management of the Royal Projects has been done by several Thai government agencies such as Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation and Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Most of the activities of the Royal Projects have been incorporated in the development-oriented tourism which is related to the culture and the way of life of the local people as well as to eco-tourism and agro-tourism. Besides the Royal Projects, the majority of the ecotourism destinations include natural sites as well as cultural sites related to ecological system such as national parks, parks and wild life sanctuaries. These are some of the well-known eco-tourism destinations in Thailand: 1. Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai Province 2. Khao Yai National Park which is listed as the world heritage site located in Nakhonratchasima Province 3. Erawan National Park in Kanchanaburi Province 4. Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre in Chanthaburi Province 5. Mu Ko Similan National Park in Phang Nga Province and 6. Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani Province 9

10 Challenge to Ecotourism inThailand Adventure Travel Association
Slide 10 Fortunately, Thailand has a diverse range of natural attractions, such as beautiful tropical beaches, rugged mountains and dense forests that are home to a myriad of animals and plants, cultural and historical sites reflecting the glorious heritage of Thai civilization. In Thailand, the Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association or TEATA plays a vital role in promoting ecotourism in Thailand. However, the growth of eco-tourism in Thailand is still limited to a small number of green operators and few concerns about protecting nature. Tourism operators and local tourists pay little attention to eco-tourism. Operators think they will have to invest a lot to make their properties and services more environmental – friendly. This will gradually change as some operators learn more about the impacts of global warming, and tourists from Europe and some Asian nations show their interest in this issue. Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association 10

11 Ecotourism Potential of Thailand
Pristine Ecotourism Destinations Ecology-related activities Slide 11 The change has begun. I, as the senior tourism official from Thailand would like to inform you that Thailand has a high potential of ecotourism due to the country’s abundant natural and cultural resources that attract both Thai and foreign tourists. There are more than 600 attractions suitable to be developed into eco-tourism destinations. Standards for each sector of eco-tourism, such as diving, bird watching, mountain biking, have been drawn up to assure the quality of this sub sector of tourism. I also would like to introduce to you that the potential of eco-tourism activities in Thailand is huge. Thailand has invested in excellent infrastructure to support and enhance its reputation as a premier tourism destination, which in turn is benefiting its eco-tourism industry. Here again, if you have lost my information earlier, let me tell you one more time, please come to enjoy and experience the pristine eco-tourism every season and everywhere in Thailand. Thank you for joining us. 11

12 Koh Samet and Ecotourism in Thailand
Oil Spill (27 July 2013) Slide 12 As you know, on Jul 27, at 6:30am, Thailand has faced the environmental crisis – Oil Spilled in Koh Samet, Rayong province. This tragic has been effected both tourism and marine creatures. The Main cause is a pipe connecting a tanker to an offshore pipeline owned by PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) broke releasing some 42,000 liters of crude oil into the sea. Let’s see the satellite photo from Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency of Thailand aka GISTDA, PTT oil slick spreads from beach 20 kilometres. On July 29, the beach has been closed due to slick. 12

13 Koh Samet and Ecotourism in Thailand
30 July 13 31 July 13 Slide 13 Day after day, the slick has spread to the beach. By Tuesday, July 30, the slick was larger than the island of Koh Samet and threatening the Thai mainland. It has reached Ao Prao beach on Koh Samet island. Fortunately, The slick hasn’t stay forever and ever. It has slightly decreased from July 30 approximately 10 Kilometres. PTT continued to clean up Ao Prao, day and night. 13

14 Koh Samet and Ecotourism in Thailand
To recover the wonderful beach Slide 14 PTTGC set up committee and working team led by CEO, President, Heads of business unit on oil spill management as follows: 1. Cleanup team – continue to clean up oil spill in all affected areas both on and off shore 2. Restoration team – monitor and recover marine environment and dam aged areas 3. Remedy team – conduct public hearing and facilitate the community 4. Legal team – work closely with insurance company and third party legal team to investigate root cause of the incident and the spread of crude oil 5. Communication team – set up spokesperson, IR and PR work together to communicate accurate messages to public and private sectors 14

15 Koh Samet and Ecotourism in Thailand
After the Nightmare Slide 15 After the sea is back to normal, thanks to the PTTGC staff and related organizations, Koh Samet has ready to welcome both international and domestic tourists on November, 1st 2013. Please do not hesitate to visit this wonderful paradise, we welcome all of you. 15

16 Koh Samet and Ecotourism in Thailand
After the Nightmare 16

17 Slide 16 Khob Kun and Sawasdee ka. THANK YOU

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