Sustainablity in  Tourism

Committed to Sustainability

Discovery Travel Limited Partnership is committed to promoting sustainability in tourism. We are the first tour company in Khao Lak to be fully Travelife Certified.

The Travelife award is a recognition for the long-term efforts and frontrunner position of Discovery Travel Limited Partnership regarding sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.

We comply with more than 200 international standard criteria, relating to office management, product range, international business partners and customer information. 

The Travelife standard is covering the ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility themes, including environment, biodiversity, human rights and labour relations; and is formally Recognized as in full compliance with the UN supported Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

Travelife is the leading international sustainability certification for the travel sector. More than 40 national travel associations are promoting the scheme to their members, including 20 European Travel associations and The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

We have also been awarded 5 stars as part of the TAT Star Sustainability in Tourism program. Further recognizing us as an active leader in the push for a more sustainable tourism industry here in Thailand.

Travelife Certified
TAS Sustainability 5 Star Award

Operational Sustainability

Operational standards, policies & proceedures

Environmentally Friendly Operations
Discovery Travel is committed to reducing negative environmental impacts of our daily tour operations. This is achieved by implementing the following practices;

Waste Reduction
– Remove all single use plastic from our tours whenever possible, and actively reduce the reduction of single use and disposable goods where ever possible.
– Promote the use of re-usable goods whenever possible.
– Favour sustainable or bio-degradable goods and services wherever possible.
– Separate waste into recyclable, bio-degradable and non-recyclable waste to assist local trash collectors.
– Purchase products in bulk whenever possible to reduce packaging and the carbon footprint.
– Print double sided whenever possible to reduce paper usage.

Water & Energy Usage
– Switch off and unplug all electrical appliances when not in use to reduce energy consumption.
– Energy efficient electronic equipment is preferred if available.
– Collect rain water when possible and promote careful water usage within the company.
– Use “strategic water usage” to keep water usage to a minimum.
– Use fans and natural ventilation instead of air-conditioning whenever possible.
– Set air-conditioning to a temperature of 26˚C+.

Environmental Impact
– Use sustainably sourced paper and printing options and whenever available.
– Actively promote the use of digital operation methods wherever possible to reduce waste.
– Use non-hazardous, non-eutrophic and biodegradable cleaning materials when available.
– Encourage employees to work from home whenever possible or use shared transportation where available.
– Ensure that all company vehicles are properly maintained and efficiently run to reduce emissions and energy use.
– Reduce unnecessary car journeys and ensure that all usage of company vehicles is as efficient as possible. Refrain from using multiple vehicles whenever possible.
– Use appropriate transportation for each tour.
– Have clear guideline in place for the handling, usage and storage of potentially hazardous substances.

Tours, Activities & Destinations

All tours and activities provided by Discovery Travel should have an overall positive impact on the destination area. If it is found that one of our tours is having a negative impact, appropriate steps should be taken to provide a positive balance.

Visitor Capacities

New destinations should be carefully evaluated so as not to exceed their sustainable visitor capacity. Alternatives should be promoted instead of overcrowded main-stream destinations.

Community Tourism

Partners and destinations that provide income, support or other positive initiatives for local communities should always be considered when planning new tours and activities.

 Local Authorities

Local authorities should be influenced and supported when possible concerning sustainability, environmental and socio-cultural issues.

 Negative Impact Activities

Discovery Travel will not actively promote or support ant activities or products that have the potential to cause excessive negative impacts. Be those impacts environmental, cultural or social. Examples of potentially harmful activites include visits to schools/orphanages and animal riding/shows.

Conservation & Responsible Tourism
  • When available, tours and activities should support biodiversity and conservation through financial contributions or political support. The sale of culturally, environmentally sensitive souvenirs or souvenirs that have a negative impact on wildlife, flora or fauna should be strongly discouraged.
  • Customers should be made aware of all best practices and behaviours when on tour with special focus on sustainability, cultural and environmental issues.
  • Tours should not promote activities that cause harm to people, animals, plants, natural resources or which are socially or culturally unacceptable. Wildlife should not be bred or held in captive unless properly regulated and cared for.
  • Wildlife species should not be harvested, consumed, displayed, sold, or traded, except as part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilization is sustainable and in compliance with local, national and international law.
Human Rights & Labour Conditions
Discovery Travel aims to create a safe and fair working environment for all staff and affiliates. All employees are fully entitled to all their legal rights and must agree to work under the conditions stipulated in their employment contract.

Wages & Working Conditions

  • All wages will either meet or exceed the legal minimum. There will be no illegal or unauthorized deductions from an employee’s wages.
  • Discovery Travel will endeavour to ensure that all wages are paid in a timely manner as per the agreed employment conditions stipulated in an employee’s contract.
  • Working hours will be in line with legal requirements and industry standards.
  • Employees are entitled to their stipulated annual leave, sick leave and maternity leave, without any form of repercussions.
  • Employees are free to terminate their employment at any time without penalty subject to contract conditions.

Working Environment

All staff are entitled to work in a safe and hygienic environment. Discovery Travel takes safety very seriously and steps are taken to prevent disease, accidents and injuries during working hours.

  • First aid kits, fire extinguishers and unobstructed exits are provided in all work areas.
  • All staff are provided with sufficient knowledge and training to enable them to deal with accidents and emergency situations.
  • All work areas and equipment are cleaned with disinfectant regularly to ensure hygiene standards.
  • Adequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is provided whenever necessary.
  • Health and safety protocols are updated depending on local and international regulations and recommendations.
  • All staff are free to join workers or trade unions if they so wish.

Child Protection

Discovery Travel operates in-line with local legal regulations stipulated by the Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) Sections 44-52. Discovery does not employee children under the age of fifteen as employees. Employees under the age of eighteen are given special considerations such as additional rest breaks and restricted working hours, as stipulated in the Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998).
Furthermore, Discovery Travel will not tolerate or allow any child prostitution or inappropriate actions from employees, partners or customers. Any suspicious behaviours and activities will be reported to the local authorities.

Community Relations
It is Discovery Travel’s aim to maintain a good working relationship with the local communities and not impact on their lives or livelihoods in a negative manner. We aim to achieve this by implementing the following practices;

  • Purchase locally sourced products and services wherever available.
  • Assist local communities, incentives and installations when possible.
  • Work alongside local communities and people to encourage the use of traditional skills and handicrafts when possible.
  • Encourage a greater understanding between local communities and tourists through by providing accurate information and insights.
  • Contribute to the protection and preservation of areas of local cultural, spiritual, archaeological and historical importance.
Partners & Associates

Discovery Travel will actively seek out partnerships with companies who operate similar sustainability policies and requests that all partner companies maintain sustainable and fair operating methods whenever possible. These methods should include;

  • Minimizing their ecological impact by reducing emissions caused by staff transportation methods, reducing paper usage, using sustainably sourced paper and by separating and recycling waste whenever possible.
  • Being sensitive towards, and maximizing positive impacts on local communities.
  • Raising awareness about sustainability issues amongst key partners.
  • Providing employees with fair conditions and a safe working environment.
  • Comply with all relevant labour laws and child protection regulations. Clauses should also be included in contracts with partners along the supply line.
  • Ensure customers and staff are informed of all relevant sustainability information.
Customer Communication
 Sustainability Information

Sustainability information and updates are published on our website on the following pages;

https://discoverykhaolak.com
https://discoverykhaolak.com/about-us/
https://discoverykhaolak.com/khao-lak-travel-blog/

Key information is also communicated to customers via guide briefings while on tour and as part of the relevant product information, both online and printed. Infographics and handouts are made available while on tour to inform customers of best practises such as dos and don’ts and any additional information.

Bookings and enquiries

Discovery Travel commits to displaying clear and accurate product information. Customers can contact us easily via our website, phone or WhatsApp with enquiries and we will respond quickly and efficiently. Customer service agents are on hand to advice and assist customers whenever required. Sustainable options are always offered promoted first as “better” options.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is monitored by the use of online reviews and customer comment forms. All comments are reviewed and taken into consideration when planning product changes or improvements. Should a customer complain, the complaint will be swiftly investigated and the appropriate action will be taken.

 Local Information

Customers will often ask for information and recommendations regarding the local area. All staff should be able to answer their questions to a reasonable standard, while motivating customers to visit local restaurants, service providers and shops where appropriate.

Ethical Code & Anti-Corruption
Bribery & Corruption

Discovery Travel is committed to operating in an honest and ethical manner. We up-hold anti-corruption laws and take a zero-tolerance policy regarding bribery and corruption.
Small gifts and services may be offered only with an aim of presenting a close and friendly relationship only. These gifts must never include cash or cash equivalents e.g. vouchers. Gifts must not be given with the intention of influencing decision making. The practice of giving monetary kick-backs for services provided is strictly prohibited.
Any employee proved to be associated with bribery or corruption on any level may face disciplinary and/or legal action.

Competition

We believe in fair pricing and a fair market. Discovery Travel will never participate in any form of organised price fixing or under-hand agreements. Any employee found to partaking in any kind of market controlling activities will face such disciplinary action as deemed appropriate.

Data Protection

Personal or sensitive date must never be sold or passed on to any third party without prior consent and authorisation. Customer details will not be used for anything other than the direct operation of service. Customer data may be used solely for the purposes of the booking and must not be passed on to any other third party, not directly involved with the booking.
Details of business dealings of affecting both Discovery Travel and our partners must be treated as confidential. Employees are obliged to take all confidentiality and data protection entrusted to them seriously both during their employment and after the end of their contract. Breaches in data protection protocol may result is dismissal and legal action.

Cultural Diversity & Non-Discrimination

At Discovery Travel we meet with and work with people from all over the world and from many different walks of life. We treat each individual with openness, fairness and tolerance. We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of discrimination, harassment or abuse based on a person’s ethnic background, appearance, sex, sexual orientation, religion, beliefs, age or disability. Discriminatory behaviour is strictly prohibited and should be reported immediately.

Animal Welfare
Discovery Travel is committed to upholding minimum welfare standards when dealing with animals affected by tourism. While protecting animals from exploitation, neglect and cruelty. Excursions and attractions in which captive wildlife is held are not offered, except for activities that are properly regulated and are in compliance with local, national, and international laws. Any excursions that do include interactions with wildlife, must comply with relevant codes of conduct, and any disturbance of natural ecosystems should be minimized.

Guides and sales staff should ensure that guests are provided with accurate and relevant information at all times. Staff and guests are encouraged to report any concerns they have regarding the welfare of animals to the management team, or the appropriate authorities.

 

Five Freedoms

The Five Freedoms are an internationally recognised benchmark for gaging and ensuring an animal’s basic physical and mental well-being. They are;
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst – The right to nutritious food and clean water.
2. Freedom from discomfort – The right to a suitable living environment that provides shelter, opportunities to rest and considers the species-specific needs of wild animals.
3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease – Ongoing and professional preventative and curative health care.
4. Freedom to express normal behaviour – A living space that encourages natural behaviour.
5. Freedom from fear and distress – Physical or emotional distress or pain should not be used as a training or control method. Access appropriate areas to seek privacy and limited human contact.

 

Welfare Quality® Criteria

The Welfare Quality® Criteria was a European Commission sponsored five-year project aimed at establishing baseline parameters to safeguard welfare quality. The basis for animal welfare should include both the Five Freedoms and the Welfare Quality® Criteria. The Welfare Quality® Criteria are;
1. Absence of prolonged hunger
2. Absence of prolonged thirst
3. Comfort while resting
4. Thermal comfort
5. Ease of movement
6. Absence of injuries
7. Absence of disease
8. Absence of pain induced by inappropriate management practices
9. Expression of social behaviours
10. Expression of natural behaviours
11. Good human-animal relationship
12. Positive emotional state
13. Absence of general fear/distress/apathy
14. Ability to seek privacy/refuge
15. Absence of surgical or physical medication of the skin, tissues, teeth or bone structure other than for the purposes of genuine medical treatment/manipulation/sedation.

 

Attraction Suppliers

Suppliers working with animals should be able to satisfactorily answer the following questions;
1. Where did the animals come from?
2. How are they trained?
3. Do they have access to appropriate food and drink?
4. What if something doesn’t go to plan? (e.g., an animal not following instructions)
5. What happens to the animals after hours?

Any supplier that deals with animals should maintain the following best practices;
• Be fully licenced and certified in-line with local regulations.
• Become a member of a zoological association which has standards and guidelines and provides accreditation after inspection and evaluation.
• Keep up-to-date records of all wild animals held including numbers of each species, births, deaths, animal acquisitions and disposals.
• All animals kept should have been acquired legally and in accordance with international and national legislation.
• Suppliers should provide ongoing training for animal keepers and/or require keeping staff to have a recognised animal management qualification.
• Have insurance that covers the facility and every person under a contract of service (or acting on their behalf) against liability for any damage or injury caused by any of the animals, whether inside or outside the attraction, including transportation to other premises. This should be in addition to public liability insurance and compliance with mandatory health and safety requirements.
• Enclosures should provide adequate shelter from the weather, as well as enough space to encourage natural behaviours.
• Contribute to conservation efforts.

 

Animal Contact & Feeding

A full risk assessment should be taken before any kind of contact is permitted between humans and animals. This risk assessment should include;
• The animal’s potential to cause harm to humans, other animals or themselves.
• Any potential harm that may be caused to the animal.
• Possible risk of transmitting disease.
• Is the animal accustomed to and comfortable with human interaction?

Customers should be fully informed of all risks and best practices before taking part in the activity. Any kind of animal handling or interaction should be under constant supervision by qualified staff. Customers should be required to wash their hand thoroughly before and after the activity. Jewellery should also be removed before taking part in the activity.

 

Performances & Shows

Where animals are used in performances and shows, there should be guarantees that living conditions and the care provided meet the Welfare Quality® criteria. Animals in performances should be able to demonstrate natural behaviour in the context of an educational experience, with informative and accurate commentary about the species’ biology and ecology. Animals should have sufficient rest periods and performances should not cause the animals harm.

 

Animal Riding

Discovery Travel does not support or offer any kind of animal riding activities to guests. However, we respect that the use of animals for transportation or as working pack animals is deeply connected with many cultures and traditions worldwide. In this case, suppliers should ensure that the animals are trained using humane techniques. Animals should have sufficient rest time and adequate shelter from the elements. Health and welfare should be regularly checked by a veterinary professional.

Working animals should never be subject to;
• Ill-fitting, dirty or unsafe equipment.
• Being worked too young in relation to bone strength and joint development.
• Difficult terrain such as stones, hard and dusty surfaces and steep hills.
• Poor riding styles and animal handling practices including jerking of reins, harsh stops and direction changes.
• Riding at high speeds.
• Use of bull hooks and whips.
• Carrying weight loads which could be detrimental to their welfare.

 

Animal Sanctuaries

Any facility advertising as a sanctuary should comply with the following criteria;
• The sanctuary should be properly licenced and registered in accordance to local legal regulations.
• Animals should be acquired through official confiscation, donation or rescue. Never purchased.
• Up-to-date records should be kept of all wild animals held including numbers of each species, births, deaths, animal acquisitions and disposals.
• The sale of animals should never be permitted.
• Animals should only be moved to another facility if it is demonstrably of equal or better standards and then only if relocation is in the animal’s best interests.
• Sanctuaries should operate a no breeding policy, and implement all necessary humane birth control measures to ensure this.
• Animals should never be used for any kind of commercial exploitation, including performances, shows or use of animals as photo props.
• Physical contact should not be allowed between visitors and animals.
• Physical contact should only be permitted between staff and animals when necessary for essential management/veterinary purposes.

 

Wild Animals

When viewing animals in the wild, it is important to maintain respect for the animal’s rights and freedoms. Animals are not photo props. Animals should be viewed from a sufficient distance only and the animal should be able to move or flee without obstruction. If possible, animals should be viewed from a downwind position to reduce stress. Always avoid positions that could separate family groups or mothers from their young. Contact between people and animals should never be instigated by people. Noise, bright lights and sudden movements should be avoided to prevent causing distress or confusion. No actions should be taken to lure, train or encourage animals that could in any way change natural behaviours.

 

Unacceptable Practices

Many well-known tourism related activities involving animals, can have a devastating effect on the animal’s welfare. Discovery Travel will not support any activities that may put an animal’s welfare at rick. Some examples of unacceptable practices are;
• Animals on display in restaurants or entertainment venues that do not comply with the above best practices.
• Animal breeding or commercial trade in sanctuaries or orphanages.
• Animals used as photographic props involving bad practices.
• Animal performances based on non-natural behaviours and shows, or where training methods compromise welfare.
• Canned hunting.
• Elephant polo.
• Ostrich riding.
• Unlicenced zoos.
• Surgery or physical modification of the skin, tissues, teeth or bones of an animal, other than for the purposes of genuine medical treatment.
• Euthanasia practices which do not comply with best practice guidance.
• Animals being used for begging or to encourage any kind of sale.
• Bear baiting, bear pits and bear bile farms.
• Bullfighting and bull running.
• Cockfighting
• Reptile farms involving bad practices
• Crocodile wrestling
• Tiger farms
• Unregulated animal and plant collection from the wild
• Direct contact with and feeding of free roaming animals
• Human initiated physical interaction with wild whales and dolphins
• Trade and sale of endangered wildlife products
• Trophy hunting

Staff Travel & Business Travel
Discovery Travel endeavour to keep all unnecessary travel to a minimum to further reduce our environmental impact. When possible, business meetings and conferences should be held online to avoid unnecessary journeys.

Business travel is defined as any journey of over 35km that either directly or potentially impacts company operations (e.g., agent meetings, purchasing supplies).
When travel cannot be avoided, routes should be planned in advance to define the most efficient option. For single journeys of over 35km, a record should be kept so that the carbon footprint can be evaluated for future reference.

If flying is unavoidable, Discovery Travel will “economy class” travel only. Direct flights should be taken whenever practically possible and luggage weight should be kept to a minimum.

When travelling, staff are encouraged to use the following options whenever possible;
–  Low carbon and carbon neutral transport options (e.g., bicycles)
– Public or shared transport
– Vehicles with fuel efficient, low emissions engines.

Progressive Evaluation & Corrective Measures
The road to sustainability is an ongoing process. Therefore, it is important that we continue to evaluate our progress. Key goals will be reviewed at least once every 12 months to monitor progress. If no progress has been made, the goal will be re-evaluated to see if corrective measures are needed.

Key goals for each period well be specified and reported on our website.

Sustainable tourism in khao lak

The road to sustainability is an ongoing process. Therefore, it is important that we continue to evaluate our progress.

Sustainable tours – Our Mission

As a small company that relies predominantly on stunning natural views and healthy eco-systems, it is within our main interests to support the local people and environment as much as possible. Along with forming excellent working relationships with local families we work hard to ensure that we leave only a positive legacy. Discovery Travel is committed to promoting sustainable tourism practices to our partners, staff and customers. It is our aim to effectively introduce sustainable policies and operating procedures that will enhance the positive aspects of tourism while keeping the negative aspects to a minimum.

The sustainability of our day to day tour operation is split into 3 main goals.

Plastic Free Tours

Plastic free tours

As part of our commitment to promoting sustainable tourism in Khao Lak, we are working hard to remove as much single use plastic from our trips as possible. So far, we have already removed single use plastic bottles and food wrappings from all of our trips. Each of our guests is issued with a re-usable water bottle to use throughout the trip. In order to further reduce our impact on the environment, we use cleaning products made from 100% natural ingredient whenever possible.

“Be part of the solution, not the pollution!”

Low Impact Tourism

Khao Lak Mangrove Explorers

On any of our “Joined Trips” we take smaller groups than most other tour operators. Not only does this help to give our trips an exclusive, almost private feel, it also helps to reduce our impact on nature and communities in the beautiful destinations we visit. Visitor capacities and the impact of our operations is constantly monitored, to ensure that our overall impact remains as positive as possible.

“Take only photos, leave only footprints!”

Support Local People

Support Local

Many of the skills that are so important to the lives of local people have been passed down through the generations. But as the world changes many of these ancient skills are in danger of being forgotten and lost forever. We employ local people and promote the use of traditional skills in our everyday operation, to help keep this local wisdom alive.  Wherever possible we source all our food and other operational materials locally to further support local communities.

“Employing local people and keep these skills alive for future generations.”

Sustainability in action

TAT Star 5-Star Rating

TAT Star Sustainable Tourism Goals – 5-star rated

In September 2023, just a month after the Tourim Authority of Thailand announced the TAT Star Sustainability Criteria, we were honoured to be amongst the very fist to recieve a 5-star rating.

The TAT Star initiative aligns with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) comprehensive strategy aimed at shaping a safe and sustainable tourism landscape. It is part of TAT’s commitment to develop and enhance services to meet high standards of safety and sustainability, fostering a culture of responsible tourism. Our efforts are harmonized with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, underscoring our dedication to creating a positive impact on both the tourism industry and the global community.

Travelife Certified Certification

Travelife Certified

Byu the end of 2021 we successfully became one of just 6 companies in Thailand to be fully Travelife Certified. Making us the only tour company in Khao Lak to be awarded this international standard certification. We will now take on a leading role in the push for a more sustainable tourism industry in Thailand.

Travelife is a certification scheme, dedicated to achieving sustainable practices within the tourism industry. The scheme as two sections. Travelife for Hotels is managed by ABTA – The UK Travel Association. Travelife for Tour operators is managed by ECEAT- a not-for-profit organisation based in The Netherlands.

Travelife Partner Sustainability Certification

Travelife Partner

2021 was a big year for us. We managed to become one of just 10 companiesd in Thailand to achieve Travelife Partner status in recognition for our sustainability efforts. We now comply with over 100 different international standard sustainability criteria.

Travelife was established with the support of the European Commission and is the leading international sustainability certification for the travel sector.

Sustainability for the future

We made an excellent start towards achieving our sustainability goals over the 2022-2023 season. The relaxation of restrictions after the COVID-19 pandemic meant that we were able to return to work and help rebuild. After many months of planning, we were finally able to put our theories and schemes into action.

During the 2022-23 season, it was our aim to help reduce waste and help support the community re-build after the pandemic. We were able to employ more people and we have bagun the process to include more community based travel packages and activities into our every day operations.

Our key goals for 2023-2025

Community Support

We will be continuing our community focus. We are already working with our parterns to expand our portfolio of tours and experiences to include more community based packages and activities. We are also working directly with local villages to create schemes aimed at providing clearly visible benefits to local communities, tourists and the environment.

Becoming a Trash Hero

Unfortunately the Trash Heros group here in Khao Lak has been put on hold due to back office and logisitcal issues. However, we will be doubling our efforts to make an impact through our day to day operations. We aim to work with other local tour operators and communities to organise further beach cleans and trash collections. It is our hope that the Discover Travel Big Beach Cleans will become regular events. In our office we will also be re-evaluating our waste and ensuring that we are recylcing as much as possible.

Carbon Offsetting

It is important that we try to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. However, we understand that it is next to impossible to remove it altogether. Therefore, we will be investigating potential methods of offsetting our carbon footprint as much as possible. We have heard that there are “carbon credit” projects potenitally being set up locally. This is something we will be investigating further to see if it is something we can get become involved in.

Record Keeping

By establishing a records of our water usage, electricity usage and daily waste, we can create a base level record. We can then use these records as a guide to help us evaluate our future operations to see if further improvements can be made. This will also enable us to see how close we are to achieving our goals.

Our Progress & Community Engagments

Working for better tourism experiences in Thailand

April 2024, We accompanied the Department of Marine & Coastal Resources and The Phang Nga Tourism Association to the Similan Islands. Where we helped to release a pair of leatherback turtles, and several baby green turtles into the wild.

The rare and endangered leatherback turtles were fitted with prototype GPS trackers to allow their progress to be monitored by UPWELL, an NGO dedicated to turtle conservation.

Releasing turtles in the Similan Islands

March 2024, we achieved a significant milestone for safety at Khao Na Yak Beach! In collaboration with Thai Muang National Park, we successfully installed mooring buoys near the pier. This crucial step enhances safety by providing a designated area for boats to dock, ensuring a smoother and safer experience for all our guests.

We also joined a meeting of industry shareholders and government offices to discuss measures to imrpove tourist safety on the roads and at sea.

Read the full story HERE.

Repairing mooring lines with the Thai Muang National Park

January 2024, Discovery Travel is honored to be appointed as the Sustainability Secretary for the Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM +) event in June 2024. This is the first time that Phang Nga has been chosen to host this event, and we are proud to be a part of it.

This recognition reflects our dedication to sustainable tourism, aligning with our mission to provide high-quality, eco-friendly day trips in the region. We look forward to contributing to the promotion of responsible tourism during this prestigious event.

November 2023, we once again joined forces with the villagers at Baan Tha Din Deang, the Thai Muang National Park, the Departments of Marine and Coastal Resource. Along with several hundred other volenteers from the Foundation for Education and Development (FED). This time planted over 200 more new mangrove trees! We are one step closer to helping fill the 20 rais of land that have been stipulated for reforestation. As requested, we also helped  by providing drinking water to keep everyone hydrated throughout the day.

Great work guys!

Planting mangroves near Khao Lak, Thailand.
Discovery Travel Big Beach Clean 2023

October 2023, we arranged the Discovery Travel Big Beach Clean Event. With the help of local communities, volenteers, national park rangers and other local buisnesses we were able to collect approximately 200-300 bags of trash from a 2.5km stretch of beach.

We were astounded and uplifted by the support we recieved. In total over 100 people turned up to lend their support.

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

September 2023, the Tourism Authority of Thailand have awarded us a 5-Star rating as part of the TAT Star Sustainable Toursim Goals.

This is yet another fantastic and much appreciated recognition of our efforts to ensure that we have a positive impact withour tours.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

Planting mangrove tres with Baan Tha din Deang community tourism project

July 2023, to celebrate World Mangrove Day 2023, we joined forces with the Tha Din Deang Community Tourism Project, Tha Din Deang School and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, to plant 300 new mangrove trees.

Not only will this help protect the village from erosion, but it will also help us reduce our carbon footprint. We are discussing the possibilities of using mangrove planting to create an official carbon offsetting scheme.

July 2023, it is important that tourism supports local businesses and communities, in order to minimise negative impacts on a destination. With this in mind we are continuing to expand our community focused Thailand holiday packages.

We are working with our partners throughout Thailand to create more sustainable and authentic travel experiences.

Fishing with the villagers on the island.

June 2023, was our chance to learn new skills whwn we joined the Tour Link DMC Supplier Audit Training. We will be using our new found knowledge and SwitchAsia acredited criteria to help us ensure that our partners and suppliers are operating in the most sustainable way possible.

We will work with our partners to help them achieve their sustainability goals. The TourLink Project is working together with tourism businesses worldwide to create a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry.

May 2023, we launched our brand new Tha Din Deang Community Tour. This trip is operated in partnership with the Tha Din Deang Community Tourism Project to further develop community focused tourism in the area.

As part of this trip, guests are invited to join in with several activities that are operated and guided by the villagers. A minimum of 1,000 Baht from each individual booking goes directly towards supporting the community tourism project. These funds are then used to provide additional income for villagers, and to fund improvements and projects within the village.

TourLink round Table human rights in Tourism
Fair Tourism community meeting

September 2022, has been a busy month for us. We were asked to facilitate a meeting between representatives from Fair Tourism and the local Moken and Burmese migrant communities.

The aim of this meeting was to better understand the challenges faced by these communities, especially on a human rights level. We are hopeful that with better understanding, the tourism industry can be a driving force for improvements to their quality of life.

September 2022, we were proud to be invited to partake in roudtable discussions regarding human rights issues in the Thai tourims industry. The discussions were part of the European Union (EU) funded TourLink Project.

The goal of the TourLink DMC Training and Round Table on Human Rights in Thai Village Tourism was to collaborate and identify concrete actions to improve human rights performance in Thai village tourism.

TourLink round Table human rights in Tourism
Community Based Tourism

July 2022, we visited the Andaman Community Based Tourism (CBT) Travelmart in Krabi. This was a great opportunity for us to find out more about some of the amazing community-based tourism projects in Andaman area. These projects provide a unique insight into local lifestyles while supporting and benefiting local communities.

We are hoping we can include more of these fantastic projects in our up-coming programs.

June 2022, saw the launch of our very first community based mulit-day tour package. Our exclusive Khao Sok to Phuket Adventure includes the best off the beaten track experiences available.

We spent many weeks travelling around and talking with local communities and families. This package gives you the opportunity to experience local lifestyles and explore some of Thailand’s hidden gems.

The entire trip is guided and organised by local people who love to share their experiences.

This is a unique opportunity to see a side of Thailand that most tourists never get to experience. Your journey takes you form the jungle covered mountains of the Khao Sok National Park, to the beautiful beaches of the coastal islands and then on to the more developed world of Phuket.

Khao Sok to Phuket

The covid-19 pandemic caused massive problems worldwide, and the tourism industry has taken one of the biggest hits. Khao Lak became a ghost town, and un-employment hit an all time high locally.

Here at Discovery Travel we have been doing our bit to support the local community as much as possible.

Longtail Boat

We donated the use of our beloved long-tail boat to a local fishing village. Many of the villagers became unemployed when all the scuba diving and snorkeling tour boats were forced to stop operating. Having the use of our boat enabled them to find food for their families and even generate a little income.

Also, we used our online blog and social media platforms to publish official area updates and relevant information. Our focus was to help re-build and maintain tourist’s trust in Khao Lak as a travel destination. Our posts are aimed at promoting Khao Lak as the perfect holiday destination once restrictions are lifted.

We are active in Thailand tourism social media groups where we offer useful recommendations and advice. In addition to this we attended several meetings organized by TAT Phang Nga and the Tourism Council of Phang Nga to discuss how else to promote tourism in Phang Nga.

Amazing Khao Lak - Koh Yao
Trash Hero Thailand

Trash Hero – Khao Lak

When possible, we took part in regular beach cleaning events organized by the amazing Trash Hero team at Go2Similan Diving and Snorkeling Centre.

 

Other potential projects

We will of course be keeping our eyes open for other additional project and improvments we can support in order to help make ourselves and the industry more sustainable. Here are just a few examples;

tour operator Teamwork

Since Thailand re-opened to tourists, more and more people have started visiting the local mangroves, beaches and reefs. We are looking into the possibility of forming a local tour operators co-operative, focused on encouraging all local excusion providers to operate in a responsible and sustainable way.

Reef building

We have heard rumors that there is a potential govenment backed project to build a new coral reef close to Khao Lak, provided a suitable partner can be found. We will be investigating further to see if this is a project we could become involved in.

Hazardous Waste

Although the amount of waste we produce through our operations is minimum, there is still a limited about of wast that we find difficult to deal with. The majority of this waste comes from the maintenance of our cars and boats. Substances that are essential to their upkeep such as oils and wood treatments are very difficult to dispose of properly. We will be seeking the advice and assistance of the Government Pollution Control Office for this matter.