Travel Green Thailand by Richard Werly
An Ecotourism Journey
It is a strange but instructive irony that the street-markets of Southeast Asia might symbolise the region's growing consideration for, and ongoing conflict with, environmental issues. In the thronged huddle of consumer goods, Bangkok vendors now sell and array of fashionable items beseeching the public to “live Green” and “save the planet”. Although a small, perhaps even paradoxical sign, it is one of changing mentalities amongst a younger generation of Thais overtly aware of their part in a future now at stake. Travel Green Thailand covers these changes in the context of the traveller.
The pages within aim at demonstrating how the tourism industry can play a leading role in confronting global and local climate change. Exploring a host of regional itineraries, we describe the efforts made by scores of individuals and businesses, as well as the Thai governmental and non-governmental agencies, to improve the surrounding environment in which they - and indeed we - all have a stake. To this end, we also highlight the necessary difficulties, inherent barriers and “inconvenient truths”, faced by attempts to catalyse positive behavioural change across one of Thailand’s most powerful economic sectors.
Travel Green Thailand is expected to appeal to EU travellers, policy-makers and business leaders alike. We contend that in providing exemplary cases of commitment to an ecologically responsible interaction with the world, this publication might play some part in the individual and collective “Green” call to arms that must be made in Thailand and elsewhere, if the very worst effects of that human interaction are to be avoided.
Richard Werly, 43, is the European Affairs correspondent for the Swiss daily Le Temps, based in Brussels. Formerly a correspondent in Southeast Asia, based in Bangkok, he has extensively travelled in Thailand throughout the last 20 years and published Jewelry Treasure of Thailand in 2004.
Size 135 x 215 mm