The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that it is donating over THB 600,000 (USD 19,756.34) in funds raised through the ‘Thailand Reduce Waste’ campaign to Friends of the Asian Elephant and the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation.
The amount of THB 333,516.25 (USD 10983.58) was presented to Friends of the Asian Elephant in Lampang province and THB 303,516.25 (USD 9995.60) to the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation.
Friends of the Asian Elephant is an elephant hospital where over 5,000 sick and injured elephants have been treated since 1993, while the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation is dedicated to forest conservation.
Featuring popular Thai star and entertainer Palitchoke Ayanaputra (Peck Palitchoke) as a presenter, the Thailand Reduce Waste campaign is aimed at creating awareness among domestic tourists of the role they can play in waste management and environmental preservation.
The campaign comes under the TAT’s strategy to strengthen the focus on sustainability at tourism destinations nationwide and ensure the upkeep of Thai tourism products. It also forms part of the plan to help reduce tourism-related waste by up to 50% within 2020.
The funds to be donated by TAT have come from the sale of colourful daily-use bags made from upcycled material which are available through its Facebook page. These are available in bold blue or pink designs that feature ‘Bua Ban’ the elephant who lives at the Elephant Study Centre in Surin province.
TAT governor, Yuthasak Supasorn said: “Working with all stakeholders towards sustainable tourism development, TAT is committed to encouraging tourists to travel responsibly by leaving only footprints and taking only good memories. The donation of these funds through the ‘Thailand Reduce Waste’ campaign is a prime example of how we can cut down on waste and in doing so, at the same time, create vital funding for the wonderful work being done in the name of animal and environmental preservation.”