Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable Thai Tour Operator Standard, Informed by Sustainable Tourism means to travel with taking care on the people in the country, the nature and the environment.

The current trend of tourism is Eco Tourism, this kind of tourism shows a concern for environment, culture, tradition and sustainable interest of this planet earth. Sustainable tourism must be initiated and worked out to include natural resource conservation and a creative kind of tourism. Rather than tourism for pleasure alone. The local people should participate in developing this kind of tourism and in gaining economic interest from tourism at the same time. The result of impact of tourism research in 1985 led to a new approach in tourism called "alternative tourism". An alternative we believed could be used to create economic revenue, a fair distribution of income to local people and at the same time a conservation of the environment, culture and tradition. Later the term was changed to "Ecotourism".

CSR Map

CSR MAP: Corporate Social Responsibility and Market Access Partnerships Project for Thai Sustainable Tourism Supply Chains.

The Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) has been working towards a sustainable Thai tourism industry for over a decade. TEATA’s members – specialist Thai ecotourism operators – are committed to preserve the best aspects of Thai tourism, such as warm hospitality and attention to detail, while harnessing our unrivaled local knowledge to craft better experiences for guests, local communities and the natural world which we share.

Over 18 months, TEATA and our partners, the Greenleaf Foundation, the Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I) and the European Center for Eco and Agro Tourism (ECEAT) have worked with fi ve Thai tourism supplier groups: ecotour operators, professional tour guides, SME hotels and restaurants, and local Thai communities which have developed their own Community Based Tourism (CBT) programs. First, our team assisted each supplier group to develop their own sustainability standards. Next, we worked to develop 20 ‘sustainable tourism routes,’ giving guests opportunities to stay in green hotels, enjoy ecotourism activities, and share culture and nature with local Thai people.

These activities took place within the EU funded “Corporate Social Responsibility and Market Access Partnerships Project for Thai Sustainable Tourism Supply Chains.” The ‘CSR MAP’ project aimed to move Thai-EU tourism supply chains towards greater sustainability, and develop innovative products for European tourists looking for an inspiring, responsible holiday. The initiative demonstrated the diversity and attractiveness of Thai sustainable tourism products, and showed what is possible when suppliers work together towards a common goal.

This manual is one result of a ‘work in progress.’ Much more remains to be done in the years ahead. Nevertheless, the project team hope that the experiences and lessons learned shared in this manual will be a useful resource for tourism suppliers and supporters who are interested to step towards sustainability. We welcome partners in the journey forward.

"Green Routes" Programs

The Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) has been at the forefront of the movement to discover a green path towards a more sustainable Thai tourism industry.

TEATA seek to preserve the best aspects of Thai tourism, such as warm Thai hospitality and attention to detail, while using our local knowledge to craft better experiences for guests, local Thai communities and the precious natural world which we share with our guests.

As part of this work, over 18 months, TEATA and our partners, the Greenleaf Foundation, the Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I) and the European Center for Eco and Agro Tourism (ECEAT) have worked with tourism Suppliers in Thailand to develop new sustainable tourism standards and Thai sustainable tourism package tours.

Our team have worked with 5 Thai tourism supplier groups – specialist Ecotour operators, Thai professional Tour Guides, SME Green Hotels, Green Restaurants, and local Thai communities which have develop Community Based Tourism (CBT) programs.

The ‘Green Routes’ are operated by the specialist members of TEATA and lead by trained ‘eco-tour guides’. Programs offer guests unique opportunities to stay in green hotels, enjoy ecotourism activities, and share life and culture and nature with local Thai communities.

This work took place under an EU funded project called the “Corporate Social Responsibility and Market Access Partnerships Project for Thai sustainable tourism supply chains.” The ‘CSR-MAP’ project aims to make Thai-EU supply chains more sustainable and develop great new products for European tourists looking for an authentic, responsible green holiday.

This booklet shares highlights of the 5 suppliers’ standards as well as a selection of the best responsible, green products in the country, many of which are made available through cooperation with local communities. This ensures that they share in both the management and revenue earned from hosting tourists and control the destiny of their villages.

The TEATA booklet demonstrates the diversity and attractiveness of sustainable tourism products in Thailand, offering tour operators new opportunities to work with TEATA to craft living, learning travel experiences in the Green heart of Thailand for your guests.