From Relief to Self-Reliance
Developing community-based tourism in tsunami-hit villages
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.
Andaman Discoveries: a citizen sector organisation which ensures the sustainability of community-based tourism in Ban Talae Nok and Tung Nang Dam. www.andamandiscoveries.com
Ecotourism Club of Ban Talae Nok: coordinates all CBT activities in the village Ban Talae Nok.
Tourism Authority of Thailand: promotes tourism in both domestic and international markets. www.tat.or.th
Soap Cooperative of Ban Talae Nok: AndamanDiscoveries offers soap making workshops to visitors and assists the cooperative in marketing and promotion. www.tsunamicrafts.com
Tung Nang Dam Community Tourism Group (local cooperative): coordinates all CBT activities in the village Tung Nang Dam.
Go Differently: a responsible travel company that offers tours that benefit both travellers and local communities. www.godifferently.com
ReefCheck Thailand (NGO): monitors and surveys coral reef around the world and provide advice to manage and conserve the marine environment.www.reefcheck.org
Mangrove Action Project (NGO): provides conservation training and environmental education for villagers to safeguard natural resources for future generations. www.dnp.go.th