The Tourism Authority of Thailand was once again honoured to have Her Royal Highness Princess of Thailand Ubolratana kindly present the 2014 Awards at a prestigious ceremony at the Thailand stand at World Travel Market
Nature, Marine and Heritage - Soneva Kiri
Community Based Tourism - The Sarojin
Volunteering - Andaman Discoveries
Animal Welfase - Soi Dog Foundation
Soi Dog Foundation
Soi Dog is Asia's largest animal foundation working with domestic animals. It has now sterilised and vaccinated over 72,000 dogs and cats. As a result of its work, Phuket is now officially rabies-free. Soi Dog is working with the government on a new animal welfare bill.
Judges' comment: "The Soi Dog Foundation demonstrates what a big difference one small organisation can make. They are successfully reducing the population of stray animals, leading the way in eradicating rabies in Thailand, and successfully working in animal welfare education. Impressive!"
Runner-up: Elephant Hills
Winner: The Sarojin
A luxury tourist resort that positively benefits many local lives, while offering authentic experiences to its guests. The Sarojin works in partnership with the local communities, and beings those communities and its guests together in a respectful and appreciative way.
Judges' comment: "The Sarojin in the standard by which all community projects should be measured. They continue to develop and improve their offering to both the local community and their guests."
Runner-up: Andaman Discoveries
Winner: Soneva Kiri
Soneva Kiri is a luxury resort that takes its carbon footprint seriously. It has raised $5.5 to date through a carbon levy on its rooms, has banned imported bottled water, and recycles the majority of its waste. Its sustainability projects have improved the lives of 150,000 people. The company is committed to leading the fight against climate change within the tourism sector. A coral restoration project has already attracted 62 species of fish, while its forest restoration project has planted over half a million trees of 90 different species.
Judges' comment: "If only all hotels were this forward-thinking! Not only is Soneva Kiri doing an incredible amount of good work in the preservation of the natural world, but they are actively trying to reverse the harm that has already been done, and are persuading other hotels to do the same."
Runner-up: Trash Hero Thailand
Winner: Andaman Discoveries
Andaman Discoveries is a social enterprise that provides authentic community-based tours, study trips, and volunteering opportunities. It works with carefully selected local partners that provide essential care and services to disadvantaged children in Southern Thailand. Its partners include a school for disabled children, an orphanage, and a learning centre for Burmese children.
Judges' comment: "It is rare to come across a volunteering organisation that is as well thought-through, transparent and honest as Andaman Discoveries. They really are trying to use volunteers in a productive way to improve lives."
Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Siriwatana Bhanawadee presenting the 2014 awards
The TAT Green UK Travel Awards are intended to highlight, and further promote, Thailand's dedication to the conservation of its country's precious natural and cultural resources and support sustainable tourism development in tandem with the growing concern we all have for our planet. "The awards recognise and celebrate TAT's partners in the travel and tourism industry who have made an outstanding contribution to growing Thailand as a sustainable destination" said Joanna Cooke, Consumer Marketing & PR Manager for TAT.
Chair of judges Lyn Hughes said, "We were delighted at the standard of entries. Judging took longer than anticipated as we were inspired by so many of the nominations, making it a challenging but enjoyable experience."