Two Thai destinations win awards in Germany for sustainable tourism

Koh Mak, photo by Koh Mak Guide.

Two Thai destinations have won prestigious awards in Germany for sustainable tourism. The destinations are the island of Koh Mak, located in the eastern Trat province, and Huay Pu Keng village in the northern Mae Hong Son province.

The two picturesque locations won top spots at the Green Destinations Story Awards held at ITB Berlin 2023 in Germany. The awards ceremony honours the most inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism development across six categories from submissions to the annual Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition.

The six categories are: governance, reset & recovery, nature & scenery, environment & climate, culture & tradition, thriving communities, and business & marketing.

Huay Pu Keng village won first place in the Thriving Communities category. The village was recognised for its good practices in community-based tourism, Bangkok Post reported. The village is home to the long-neck Karen community. Village locals received capacity-building training for promoting environmentally friendly practices among residents and visitors.

Koh Mak island won second place in the governance, reset & recovery category. The director of Thailand’s Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration, and the chairman of the Koh Mak Tambon Administrative Organisation, received the award in Berlin yesterday.

Koh Mak was only beaten by Normandy in France. In third place was Oguni Town in Japan.

Koh Mak was chosen by the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) to be Thailand’s first low-carbon destination.

Koh Mak has gone through quite a journey to achieve this status. In 2015, DASTA launched three campaigns in Koh Mak. The first campaign “Eat it Fresh” focused on campaigning for restaurant operators, hotels, and resorts on Koh Mak to buy seafood locally, and grow fruits and vegetables free of pesticides. The second campaign was “Help Koh Mak counting to 10,000 trees.” The third campaign was “A Good Host.” The campaign encouraged Koh Mak residents to better their communities by actively reducing their carbon footprints.

The campaigns seem to have been successful in making Koh Mak a sustainable tourism destination.

Two Thai destinations win awards in Germany for sustainable tourism | News by Thaiger

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.