Pics was taken from the Workshop for ASEAN Beyond Borders: RETHINK ASEAN Ecotourism held on 1 - 5 September 2014 in Bangkok, Rayong, Trat and Chantaburi provinces, Thailand, conducted by The Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand in cooperation with the Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I).
Baan Jumrung in Rayong Province visited by thousands of Thai every year. There are 40 community groups so far in this village who cooperate actively in eco/agro tourism and community development. It is a striking example visit to the participants of how community based ecotourism activities can be successfully (re) package as a structure learning program. Participants also became parts of activities i.e herbal plantation, picking fruit in local orchads, cooking healthy food and shopping for local product.
Huai Raeng Village Ecotourism Group in Trat Province had shown that the area is very rich in biodiversity. The member of Huai Raeng ecotourism group are very proud to share their knowledge about the ecosystem, natural resources, tradition and culture. It is learned that the Local Government had actually put serious attention to the development of the area. The community members work with government and non-government partners to build local capacity and overcome challenges to developing tourism using community based research.
Fasai Eco-resort are committed to protecting the environment and supporting the local community. The resort gives employment to local people, arranging tours using local people as guides and working with the authorities to protect the environment
The Workshop itself highlighted that The ASEAN Economic Community will play a major role in Changing ASEAN in many contexts including tourism, as per the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011 – 2015. Through the Workshop, the participants were expected to be able to ‘think outside the box’ on repackage ecotourism product and how to create an ecotourism that is consumable as well as manageable. Rethinking ASEAN ecotourism development: “borderless, markets, limited resources and brave new direction” will give challenge to consider a new horizon of opportunities, which ASEAN community will bring to ASEAN ecotourism development and marketing.