Faasai Resort and Spa a finalist in Wild Asia’s 2008 Responsible Tourism Awards

There are three Thai finalists in the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards for 2008. They are  Six Senses Hideaway at Phnag Nga in the luxury and boutique category, Faasai Resort and Spa in Chanthaburi in the budget category and Andaman Discoveries in Phang Nga in the community-run home-stay category.

There are eight finalists altogether in the awards which were open to contestants throughout Asia. The other five finalists are from India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia.

This is the third year that Wild Asia has held the awards, which recognize tourism operators who are committed to following the principles of Responsible Tourism.

Over 40 candidates filled out Wild Asia’s self-assessment checklist. The criteria for choosing the finalists centers on three core principles related to economic, environmental and social objectives. These include protection of the environment, conservation of water and electricity, efficient waste disposal, support for the local community, treatment of staff and education for visitors. All the finalists will be visited by a fact-finding team from Wild Asia that will check on-site operations, talk to staff and guests and visit local businesses and attractions promoted by operators in surrounding areas. This allows Wild Asia to gain a better understanding of the resort property, how it is run and its impacts in the area.


A member of the Wild Asia Fact Finder team Rick Gregory, who visited the Faasai Resort and Spa in August, said the objective of the awards is to encourage responsible practices in the tourism industry. He said the publicity and examples from the awards would give travelers an opportunity to distinguish between good operators and less responsible ones.

“Travelers are very intelligent, they know what they’re looking for, so nobody can just claim to be green, people have to see that a hotel is green.

 Savvy tourists demand an eco-friendly environment, a feel for local traditions and a sense of satisfaction that comes from being a low-impact and well-informed visitor, not a detrimental intruder in a foreign locale,” Mr. Gregory said.

The Wild Asia team says there are four common practices that are found among responsible tourism operators.

  • Commitment from the Top – Responsible tourism efforts must be part of the entire business strategy, this means that all parties – investors, owners and top management – are committed and clear in implementing its objectives.
  • Getting staff on board – Effective practices are the result of a team effort, thus it is important to initiate green programmes and allocate time for these activities on and off the property.
  • Defining, maintaining and improving performance – Sustainable tourism requires a thorough review of ongoing practices and periodic assessments to identify areas for continued improvement.
  • Communicating your programme – Everyone from management to staff to guests should understand the efforts behind, and goals of, responsible tourism by effective communication methods.

The Wild Asia team is filming best practices at the places it visits and these will be placed on its own website. The winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2008 will be announced at a seminar on Responsible Tourism in November.

For more information please see:

 www.wildasia.net; www.sixsenses.com; www.faasai.com; www.andamandiscoveries.com






Greetings from Diamond Beach Village in Kenya, Africa

I thought you would like to know we have a big article coming out in this Saturdays Guardian Travel section, 14th Feb thanks to Responsible Travel. So while you are running to get a rose buy a copy! For those of you who can’t buy the paper it will also be online.

All is well at Diamond. We have recently acquired a new dhow and are now offering sailing safaris to the islands up north as far as Kiwayu for fishing, snorkelling and generally enjoying the sights and sailing in a traditional Lamu dhow.

Ronaldo will still be our day trip boat so don’t worry, Abu and Answar are still very much here with us.

We have had a good start to the year and hope that despite the credit crunch, 2009 will be a good year for us, at only $35 per night B&B it is a recession bargain!

There is worrying news about the development of a large port in Lamu and unfortunately I believe the deal has been done. I am not yet sure how this will effect us here but I have a feeling it won’t be good. Large ships bellowing large amounts of waste, a disaster for the surrounding environment and cultural heritage of the archipelago. However the President wants it and Qatar is paying for it in return for land to grow fruit and vegetables.

It is very hot and dry here now and we are looking forward to the rains due in April.

Mambo the dog is still yapping and we have new puppies from Gaza: Bob and Obama!

We are all delighted in Kenya for Barak Obama and are hoping he is going to change the world. High hopes I know but !YES HE CAN!

I hope you are all keeping well and wrapping up warm, don’t forget you can always escape and come chill on the beach here for a week or two.

Cheers for now and hope you all have a good 2009.
Rachael and all at Diamond Beach

The Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize gets an Eco pool!

Cayo District, Belize, February 3, 2009 – The Lodge at Chaa Creek is making  a splash with the latest addition to its 365-acre nature reserve.  A new beautifully appointed, fresh water swimming pool has been added to the numerous onsite activities tha Chaa Creek offers, and combines to make Chaa Creek an extra special holiday destination.

The eco-friendly swimming pool was built with both adults and children n mind.  Its bi-level configuration allows for swimming and paddling pools, as well as generous lounging space for dining, sun bathing, and relaxation.

Our family had a wonderful stay at Chaa Creek during the week of Christmas, and our three children were fortunate enough to be the very first guests to take a dip in your fantastic new swimming pool”.

The total capacity of the pool is a whopping 46,000 gallons, 45,000 gallons in the main pool area and 1,000 gallons in the children’s paddling pool.

The pool’s Green credential is facilitated by the IntelliChlor Electronis Chlorine Generator (IECG).  This sanitation system uses a salt chlorinator to create a process known as electrolysis which produces a chloriee gas that immediately dissolves into a solution creating Hypoclorite, a pool and spa water sanitizer.  Hypochlorite kills bacteria, oxidizes organic material, and kills algae, then reverts back to salt.  A low concentration of salt added to the pool water is the only sanitizer used.  The IECG then reuses the salt and the process starts over again.

The award-winning Lodge at Chaa Creek’s 365-acre nature reserve hosts an internationally recognized Natural History Centre, Butterfly Farm, Rainforest Medicine Trail, miles of trails for walking, birding, mountain biking, and horsebck riding, a fleet of canoes, a full service spa, conference centre, and access to Belize’s Maya archaeological sites.

Reef and Rainforest Packages with Chaa Creek’s Caribbean partners are always available.

For more information about The Lodge at Caa Creek, call toll free USA 877-709-8708, UK 0-207-096-0329, Belize 501-824-2037 or email us at reservations@chaacreek.com.