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From Relief to Self-Reliance

From Relief to Self-Reliance

Tsunami-affected communities on the Andaman coast plan to expand employment opportunities through community-based tourism while the proceeds will support local projects such as marketing of handicrafts, a community centre, recycling, and youth-led conservation programmes.

Relief to Self Reliance, a project involving Andaman Discoveries as one of the partners, will expand employment opportunities, strengthen local economic and cultural activity and promote sustainable resource management through community-based tourism (CBT) in an area of Thailand severely impacted by the 2004 Tsunami.

Andaman Discoveries offers responsible tours and volunteer placements in the community, creating numerous employment opportunities through activities such as home-stays, handicrafts production and guided tours. The organisation grew from an NGO with a strong track record of work in Thailand’s tsunami-hit communities. All activities such as eco tours, interactive handicraft workshops, cultural exchanges and volunteering were developed in collaboration with the villagers. A compulsory 20% donation from visitors and volunteers will support local projects such as community education, handicraft marketing, recycling, and youth-led conservation programmes.

The initiative currently works with three villages on the North Andaman coast. The partnership’s aims are to increase the number of customers and activities offered, ultimately transforming from a non-profit organisation into a self-sustaining business.

  • Further developing the tourism product with new activities and services targeted at five main markets: study and volunteer tours, responsible tour operators, eco/adventure travellers, short term “volun-tourists” and cultural tours.
  • Increasing the number of destination villages and creating a network of villages to facilitate exchange of knowledge and experience
  • Expanding online marketing and promotion at tourism fairs.

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