Thailand, a beloved destination renowned for its stunning beaches, majestic temples and delectable cuisine, has evolved beyond its sun-kissed coastal retreats and bustling cities. As sustainable tourism gains momentum with travelers now seeking immersive experiences that align with their environmental and social values, Thailand has taken a proactive approach to developing a sustainable tourism ecosystem.
Embracing the Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model, Thailand is promoting low-carbon tourism across its major and secondary cities, some of which were previously off the beaten path for tourists. Spearheaded by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), this movement focuses on five key areas of travel: adventure, gastronomy, slow life, history and wellness.
Low-Carbon Tourism Principle
Under the low-carbon tourism principle, activities are designed to limit the use of electrical and fossil fuel energy, prioritize renewable energy, employ products made from natural or biodegradable materials to reduce waste and encourage responsible food consumption to combat food waste. Ultimately, the aim is to curtail greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the ecological footprint. TAT has identified 20 low-carbon travel routes across the country and recommended activities catering to every traveler type.
Adventure-seeking travelers, for instance, can embark on an exhilarating journey through Thailand’s Little Amazon, located in the town of Takua Pa in Phang Nga province. Visitors can kayak through the thriving mangrove forest teeming with wildlife such as macaques, Oriental pied hornbills and kingfishers. For an awe-inspiring encounter, visitors can get up close with the elephants at Khao Lak Elephant Home, participating in activities such as feeding and bathing these majestic creatures.
For those desiring a slower pace of life, Koh Mak is a hidden gem treasured for its tranquility and natural beauty. Guests can cycle around the island, stroll along pristine beaches or snorkel among vibrant coral reefs—ensuring an eco-conscious vacation free of carbon emissions.
Sustainable Activities Catering to All
TAT’s low-carbon travel routes cater to history enthusiasts and food lovers, too. In the old city of Nan, located in northern Thailand, visitors can immerse themselves in the region’s rich cultural heritage. The charming old neighborhood can be explored on foot, but low-powered trams are available to ferry tourists to the main attractions such as the temples and a museum.
To savor the diverse flavors of Thailand, tourists are encouraged to taste locally made dishes that feature locally sourced ingredients. The Takian Tia community in Chonburi, just a short distance from Bangkok, offers an authentic village experience where coconuts take center stage. Locals ingeniously use every part of the coconut in their cooking as well as to create products such as soaps, coconut shells and coconut oil.
Tourists in the pursuit of wellness activities will not miss out. Thailand continues to entice visitors with luxurious spas and wellness centers as well as natural attractions such as hot springs. Krabi province, for instance, is home to a mineral-rich hot spring nestled within a pristine rainforest, providing a serene setting for visitors to unwind, soothe tired muscles and rejuvenate their spirits—without compromising the delicate natural environment.
TAT has demonstrated how sustainable practices can be seamlessly integrated into diverse travel experiences that are authentic, enjoyable and fun. By embracing these eco-friendly initiatives, travelers can enjoy a vacation in this Southeast Asian gem with a clear conscience.