is currently a buzzword in the Thai tourism scene. It
has consistently gained in popularity in recent years
in response to the worldwide trend of preserving the natural
environment. The concept of eco-tourism has yet to be
properly defined, however. Several activities fall under
the heading of nature-based tourism.
to the abundance and variety of natural resources, Thailand
has become a favored destination for adventure seekers
and eco-tourists. The Tourism Authority of Thailand
as well as the private sector has been quick to respond
to the fast-changing demand for back-to-nature activities.
the past decade, activities like mountain biking, whitewater
rafting, trekking and camping, bird watching, scuba
diving and rock climbing have sprung up in many natural
tourist areas. They are now becoming increasingly popular
as mainstream travelers pay more attention to off-the-beaten-track
eco activities are now available in every region of
Thailand, more outstandingly in the mountainous areas
of the north, west, and the south of Thailand. Leading
the way are trekking, mountain biking, bird watching
and scuba diving.
of Thailand's national parks are under the control of
the Royal Forest Department. Most national parks provide
trekking trails for nature explorers. There are also
camping sites for those who want to overnight in the
parks. Trekking and camping are available in the mountainous
areas all over Thailand such as Doi Luang Chiang Dao
in Chiang Mai, Phu Soi Dao in Uttaradit, Thung Salaeng
Luang in Phetchabun and Phitsanulok, Phu Kradung in
Loei and Khao Luang in Nakhon Si Thammarat, to name
but a few.
trekking and camping are not new tourist activities
in Thailand. But they are better managed today than
ever before. Apart from trekking along the marked trails,
you may also hire a local guide to take a tour deeper
into a forest to explore off-the-beaten-track routes.
Organized elephant trekking is another popular activity
for anyone who isn't too adventurous.
Why is eco-tourism popular?
fact, eco-tourism is nothing new to Thailand.
It was previously popular among a small number
of people, especially students or young travelers,
who love nature. Worldwide concern for the environment
has created a new demand for eco-friendly activities.
The boom in eco-tourism has prompted the TAT to
join forces with the Royal Forest Department to
promote better management of certain natural destinations.
the eco-tourism boom can have both positive and
negative impacts on the environment. The positive
effect is that more people are interested in nature
and want to learn more about ecology. However,
the greater numbers of people visiting natural
areas bring more damage and disruption to the
site. For the time being, the Thai government
is continuing in its efforts to promote eco-friendly