If you want to champion sustainable travel when you visit Thailand, get in touch with these award-winning charities and organisations
The Thailand Green Excellence Awards UK highlight Thailand's dedication to the conservation of its natural and cultural resources, and support sustainable tourism development. This year's winners are:
Winner: Trash Hero, an organisation that sets up
community-based rubbish collection projects and educates about
recycling and littering.
Judges' comments: "A simple idea yet so effective, influential and inspirational. This initiative has achieved extraordinary results, and deserves to be copied in other countries."
Runner-up: Soneva Kiri, luxury eco-resort on Koh Kood.
Winner: Local Alike, fun and responsible tours - from
'A Day as an Artisan' to 'Hill-top Tea Plantation Camping' - that
provide cultural immersion and benefit local communities.
Judges' comments: "A dynamic and well thought-out social enterprise. Working at grass roots level, Local Alike has already made a significant social impact, while giving visitors an enriched travel experience and unique insight."
Runner-up: The Sarojin, a boutique beach hotel, strong on eco-thinking.
Winner: Elephant Hills, a luxury forest camp with a
strong focus on offering close elephant encounters with the highest
standards of animal care.
Judges' comments: "An exemplary example of elephant care. The elephants are not ridden, are treated with respect, and there is an in-house vet. Visitors have a fantastic holiday experience yet there is a strong educational element too."
Runner-up: Boon Lott, a sanctuary for retired elephants.
Winner: Volunteer Teacher Thailand, a non-profit
organisation that places English teachers in schools that need
Judges' Comments: "A well thought-out and well-managed scheme that ensures best use of the volunteers and a consistency in the lessons. Streets ahead of other teaching programmes we have seen."
Runner-up: Hands Up Holidays, luxury voluntourism company.
How the winners are picked
Last June we asked Wanderlust readers to nominate the
organisations they felt deserved recognition for their work across
four categories; community based projects, volunteer group
organisations, animal welfare and nature, marine and heritage tour
The criteria for judging include the sustainability of the projects/organisations, their demonstrable successes, and the legacy benefits for both Thailand and international visitors.
The difficult task of picking the winners fell to the judging panel: Soren Stober (ABTA), Salli Felton (The Travel Foundation), Derek Moore (AITO), Lyn Hughes (Wanderlust Travel Media) and Martin Symington (Travel journalist).
After much deliberation, the results were revealed at the World Travel Market in London in November 2015. The winners were presented their awards by Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, who is known for her charity work and enthusiasm and support for the awards.