Before going into any Ecotourism opportunities in Pattaya, it would be helpful to explore just what Ecotourism is in Thailand, and what it isn’t…
Ecotourism has been defined as responsible travel to pristine or fragile and usually protected spots whose locals now strive to lower the environmental impact of tourism.
Eco tour guides will try to educate the tourist, as well as use profits from tours to help local ecological conservation efforts and empower local communities to do the same. The point being that by doing so, future generations may experience these areas as relatively untouched, and without the various kinds of garbage our species usually bring along.
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), established in 1990, defines ecotourism by using 7 basic criteria, and it is suggested that travellers use these same criteria when booking an Eco tour:
- The tour involves travel to a natural destination, vs. a theme park for example.
- The tour is organized in such a way that it minimizes the impact of the tour on the environment.
- The tour builds environmental awareness either directly, or indirectly through it’s management.
- The tour company provides direct financial benefits for conservation and preservation of the environment toured.
- The tour provides empowerment as well as financial benefits for the people living on or near the land.
- The tour operator and clients respect the culture of the local environment.
- The tour supports democratic movements and human rights.
Now with that said, most of these concepts can be easily misunderstood, and in practice, turned into a marketing tool – as well as malpractice by the more unscrupulous tour operators. There really is not much that can be done about that, as there are no international laws or enforceable restitution for ecotourism abuse. There is also no easy way to keep tour operators from labelling their business green or eco-friendly, other than common decency and truthful advertising.
But in the case of Pattaya (and Thailand in general) these labels are rarely abused. For example, there are two eco tours that stand out in Pattaya. These are the submarine and semi-submarine tours off the fragile coastal coral reefs of Ko Sak and Ko Lan. These tours are eco-friendly, in the sense that care is taken by the operators of these vessels not to disturb the corals or wildlife, and the impact on the environment is much less than if the same amount of divers (as passengers) were to visit these reefs each day.
The two recommended tour operators for visiting.
September 28, 2013 | MrCondo
The dramatic growth of Golf tourism in Thailand shows few signs of abating, with Tourism Authority of Thailand forecasts for the current year suggesting that some 3% of total inbound visitors – around 600,000 visitors – will arrive on Thai shores in search of a golfing fix at the Kingdom’s premier golf destinations; Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
With golfers spending on average three times more than their fellow visitors, the boost to the local economy is dramatic, driving the value of inbound golf tourism to Thailand towards the landmark US $2billion mark.
External political factors and natural disasters that have put pressure on the industry in the past, have been removed from the equation, leaving the golf industry free to harvest the fruits of its combined efforts.
And harvest it has. The Kingdom’s leading golf courses have all reported higher year-on-year bookings for 2012 to date and if the trend continues, last year’s golf related tourist arrival figure of 500,000 visitors will be eclipsed by an additional 100,000 visitors, sinking an extra 3 billion Thai baht into the local economy.
“There has been a dramatic improvement (in tourist arrivals),” said Prasertchai Phornprapha, managing director of Siam Country Club, near Thailand’s coastal resort city of Pattaya.
“When there is peace in Thailand it is the destination of choice because of its culture and value for money,” he added before going on to claim that the course has budgeted for 50,000 foreign golfers during the current year, half its total fee-paying guests.
Thailand’s foothold as the premier golf destination in Asia will be further strengthened and the increase in arrivals will bring global market leader Spain – with 100 million golf tourists a year – into sight. Competitive pricing and guaranteed year-round golf are just two of the factors that have extinguished the treats of traditional golf ‘powerhouse’ destinations of the US, Ireland, Australia, England and even the home of golf Scotland.
Nationals from these countries have continued to overlook their home market and head for the warmer climes of Thailand. The strong Aussie dollar has encouraged an influx of Australian visitors during their winter months – coinciding with the local off-peak tourist season – while the faltering European economies has had little impact on visitors from Europe – who favour visits during the November to March high season.
And this pace of growth shows little sign of abating. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Sport, Chumpol Silpa-archa, has targeted to double foreign inbound arrivals in the next 3 years, to reach a figure of 30 million foreign inbound tourists by 2015, with an expected income generation of US $450billion.
A fair slice of this will no doubt find it’s way into the local golf industry.
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September 21, 2013 | MrCondo
Thailand is the best place to spend family vacations. The country has plenty of beautiful and attractive places which parents and their children will definitely love. There are top ten best places in Thailand where most families from around the world love to visit. Here is the list of the ten most recommended vacation destinations in Thailand:
1. Pattaya, Thailand – located along the Thailand Gulf. It is the most popular ocean site resort in the Southeast Asia. Pattaya has 300 affordable hotels to choose from, which are perfect for vacationing families of any size. There are also a number of markets and shopping malls. Lots of affordable restaurants are also found in Pattaya serving the delicious Thai delicacies.
2. Phuket – the most popular tourist destination in the country with its beautiful white sand beach coasts. Phuket is also known as the “pearl of the South”. Here, one can find the best variety of restaurants offering the best of Thai cuisines.
3. Koh Samui – perfect to spend family summer vacations. Koh Samui has a large number of beach hotels where one can enjoy the amazing beauty of the white sand beaches along the coastlines. Resorts offer good budget accommodations which will surely please families.
4. Chiand Mai popular tourist destination mostly because of the best shopping experience it offers. Here, one can buy a lot with just a dollar. Tourists often swarm the market of Chiang Mai that opens from 5pm and opens until midnight daily. The night marketplace has many products that will surely suit and satisfy everyone. Goods such as clothes, baggage, souvenir items, shoes and a lot more can be found here. There are also clubs in several places which offers very affordable prices. This is definitely a place for any family vacation.
5. Koh Chang Thailand – is a marine national park which attracted thousands of visitors worldwide. The island has a nick name of “the last untouched paradise in the Southeast Asia”, because much of its place are not yet been discovered by modern explorations and haven’t been built in with establishments and infrastructures. Here, one can fully appreciate the pure gifts of nature. Koh Chang has everything nature has to offer. Perfect getaway place for families who wants to have a quiet and peaceful vacation. Families can rent natively designed bungalows where they can feel at ease and comfortable all throughout their stay.
6. Krabi, Thailand – an island territory of Thailand that has fine-looking coastline and offshore islands. This location was used in the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo di Caprio. These beaches are truly pictures perfect panoramas, together with the coconut palm trees and the blue waters of the ocean. Krabi has been a favorite place for vacationers coming from different countries.
7. Hua Hin – a place which combines pleasure and beach holidays and also a place for several sports. Golf has been the most famous sport here wherein visitors can play under the shade of the coconut trees.
8. Chiang Rai – a located in the mountainous regions of Thailand, which are said to have retained much Thailand’s culture. Popular attractions here include the White Temple, which is the only handcrafted temple in Thailand with striking botanical gardens. Visitors love to visit here and take a look at the Buddha statues built in Buddhist temples which truly spectacular.
9. Cha-am Thailand – located 160 kilometers south of Bangkok, about two hours drive via car. Cha-am beach resort is known as the longest white sand beach in Thailand. It is also a place for golfing which many of vacationers enjoy to play. Perfect for vacationing families.
10. Bangkok – the main attractions in Bangkok are the magnificent temples and shrines along the city. These religious buildings were made with artistic architecture design which are truly captivating to the eyes.
September 14, 2013 | MrCondo
If you are planning a vacation in any area where the natives speak a different language than you, it is a good idea to become familiar with some key phrases in that language. People who visit Thailand and learn a bit of the Thai language are more likely to have a great time on their trip. Natives of Thailand love to greet visitors who have taken the time to learn a few things! It gives them a sense of pride in their homeland, knowing that a visitor wanted to blend in a bit while visiting. There are a lot of phrases that you could learn before a vacation, but there are some that will be more helpful than others. No matter what you will be doing on your trip, certain things will be necessary. Being able to ask where restrooms and places to eat are will help you everyday. Finding restaurants online is of course a possibility, but asking in Thai and being directed by a native gives you the experience of being part of the Thai culture. As you plan your trip and decide what places you will be visiting, figure out what phrases and questions may be helpful for you to learn. Being able to ask where certain places are, and understanding enough Thai to follow the directions given is a very useful preparation, as well as learning enough Thai to be able to read signs in the area that point to certain places. The people of Thailand will be happy to help. You could even learn enough Thai to ask for suggestions of things to do. Finally, it would be fun to learn how to say common phrases such as asking how someone is doing, greeting people, and asking about the weather. Practice your Thai on the hotel manager and on your waiter at the restaurant. When you go into stores, practice it on the people working in them. Study your Thai and get ready for a great vacation.
September 7, 2013 | MrCondo