AsiaSpa Magazine
Getting Greener Image Credit: AsiaSpa Magazine
Getting Greener Image Credit: AsiaSpa Magazine

Getting Greener

Thailand’s fertile jungles, wildlife and rich culture make the ideal landscape for a sustainable vacation. From green hotels with zero-waste policies, to tribal homestays that empower local communities, the variety of experiences are wide and varied.

Judy Chapman

Thailand is now said to be the most visited country in Asia and among the top worldwide. But as with all popular destinations, the threat of over-tourism is real.

Yet out of the challenge, innovation thrives. Responsible and sustainable tourism is on the rise, allowing travelers to actually make a positive impact during their visit. Low impact, eco-friendly tourism has the ability to preserve, rather than destroy, a country’s natural beauty.

In Thailand, agrotourism is becoming a trend, whereby activities such as rice farming, organic coffee tours, learning farming techniques and touring tribal villages are a part of resort life geared towards education and preservation.

Andrew Jacka, chairman of the Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition, explains that agrotourism has taken place since as early as 1974. Thanks to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, its teachings of moderation and self-sufficiency continue to be practiced today. He says, “The Kingdom offers sustainable agriculture hospitality, sustainable fashion, farm-stay tourism, and increased visibility of micro, small, medium and large-scale service providers.”

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, for example, bonds elephants and humans through educational tours and ethical walks and is led by a resident veterinarian. Meanwhile, Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas with The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation has guests rescuing turtle eggs from surrounding beaches.

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