Green Awards Ceremony Expands to ITB 2011 for the First Time
Bangkok, March 11, 2011 — Three Thai and German companies and one German travel writer were conferred Thailand’s Green Awards at the ITB Berlin 2011, the first time that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has organized this ceremony at the world’s largest travel show.
The Green Awards are conferred in four categories: Best large tour operator; Best small tour operator; Best green media, and Best green corporate. They recognise the award-winners’ efforts to uphold the cause of environmental conservation, sustainability, and responsibility in developing their respective products and services.
TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “This is the first time we are organising these awards at the ITB Berlin. They are designed to reward best practices and stress our ‘balanced strategy’ approach to Thai tourism as well as our commitment to Thai society and the environment.”
HRH Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya presided over the ceremony on 10 March 2011, at 1600 hrs, at the Thai Pavilion, Hall 26b, Stand No. 221.
The TAT Green Awards were first organized in 2007 as a cooperative venture between the TAT London Office and responsibletravel.com, an online travel agent active in promoting green tourism. The two parties select tourism business operators including hotels and travel agents within the UK and Thailand, whose products and services help conserve tourism resources and sustainable development.
This same concept is now being expanded to the German market. The winners are:
1. Best large tour operator – STA Travel
STA Travel is a large tour operator that creates authentic, credible and real volunteer experiences. With several projects in the Kingdom of Thailand STA Travel also brings forward the integration of Thai culture into tourists’ itineraries; for example, the Sea Turtle Conservation volunteer project at Ko Phra Thong which was established 12 years ago to protect the sea turtles, mangrove forests and coral reefs of the island.
2. Best small tour operator – Beluga School for Life Charity Travel
Beluga School for Life Charity Travel was established to help children in southern Thailand after the destruction caused by the December 2004 tsunami. The project gives the children hope for the future in terms of a home, education and training. Designed to be self-supporting, the project allows travellers from all over the world to gain an authentic insight into its work by creating encounters between travelers and residents/nationals.
3. Best Green Media – Ms Gesine Unverzagt
Over the past 15 years, Ms Gesine Unverzagt has visited more than 60 countries to write about people, places and landscapes, illustrating her encounters with amazing photographs. Her exceptional articles about Thailand are numerous, covering nearly every part of the country including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai, Bangkok, and Isan. Her work is devoted to Green Tourism and sustainable development, and her project aims at bringing a better life to needy people in many parts of Thailand; for example, the photo exhibition “Faces of Asia – Traces of Life” in Lamai, Ko Samui, in March 2010.
4. Best Green Corporate – BASF Group in Thailand
BASF Group in Thailand serves various industries with chemical products. The company conducts business in accordance with the principles of sustainable development with the combination of long-term oriented economic success, environmental protection and social responsibility. BASF supports various social activities; for example, the environmental management at Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Save the Sea Turtle Project in Sattahip, Chonburi, Mangrove Conservation and Reforestation project in Chonburi, etc.