The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) unveiled the 2019 winners of their Responsible Thailand Awards, in conjunction with Wanderlust Travel Media, during World Travel Market at a lunch ceremony presided over by the Minister of Tourism and Sport, His Excellency Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
The Responsible Thailand Awards were created to highlight, and further promote, Thailand’s dedication to the conservation of its country’s precious natural and cultural resources. The Awards recognise and celebrate organisations in the travel and tourism industry who have made an outstanding contribution to sustainable tourism developments, helping protect the country whilst engaging and educating tourists on local environmental issues.
Since June 2019 readers of Wanderlust magazine have been nominating the organisations they felt deserved recognition for their sustainable work across six categories:
1. Marine, Nature & Heritage
2. Animal Welfare
3. Community Based Tourism
4. Best Eco-Lodge/Hotel
5. Best Hotel
6. Green Steps
“We’re so proud of the continued success of our awards and the wider interest our Responsible Thailand campaign with Wanderlust has garnered this year. A total of 339 nominations were made, a huge increase from the 67 nominations in 2018 and 45,000 people engaged with the campaign website, up from 6,500 in 2018, sharing their thoughts on who should be crowned a Responsible Thailand winner. The huge increase in interest and engagement with our awards this year is testament to how important eco-friendly choices are to the British traveller and why Thailand will keep working on sustainable initiatives and developments.” Said Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
A leading panel of expert judges had the unenviable task of choosing just 6 winners, casting their deciding vote on consumers nominations.
– Lyn Hughes (Editor-in-chief & Global Content Director, Wanderlust)
– Derek Moore (Chairman, AITO)
– Claire Jenkinson (Senior Destinations & Sustainability Manager, ABTA)
– Martin Symington (Award-winning Travel Journalist)
– Julie Middleton (Head of Sustainable Practice, The Travel Foundation)
The criteria the judges followed included the sustainability of each organisation, their demonstrable successes and legacy benefits for both the Kingdom and visitors to it.
The winners they collectively chose are:
- Marine, Nature & Heritage
WINNER! Thavorn Beach Village Resort & Spa for the “Save Nakalay Reef Project”
- Animal Welfare
WINNER! Samui Elephant Sanctuary
- Community Based Tourism
WINNER! G Adventures/Planeterra
- Best Eco-Lodge/Eco-Hotel
WINNER! Soneva Kiri
- Best Hotel
WINNER! Zeavola Resort
- Green Steps
WINNER! Poppies Resort
The winners were presented their awards by Thailand’s Minister of Tourism & Sport, His Excellency Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn on Monday 54h November at WTM 2019.