18 Mar 2017
Over 800,000 foreign tourists and more than two million Thais traveled on ecotourism and adventure tourism trips in the Kingdom, spending around 300 billion Baht in 2016, signaling the growing strength of that niche market within Thailand’s successful tourism industry. With regard to foreign tourists, ecotourism appealed mainly to those from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Scandinavia, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
The Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) is seeking to develop Thailand’s ecotourism and adventure travel to meet with higher-level international standards along with improving internal management. Ecotourism and community-based activities are seen to be key to the sustainability of the overall tourism sector in Thailand as well as in many other countries.
TEATA currently has about 80 members, most of which are located outside the capital of Bangkok. They offer everything from home stays in rural villages, to trekking and wildlife tours, bicycle tours, elephant safaris, kayaking, bird watching, Thai boxing training and rock climbing.
Although Thailand has plenty to offer tourists looking for cultural, heritage and natural sites, TEATA has realised that other countries have strengthened their ecotourism industries through marketing at international events. Therefore, the association is also considering attending tourism events in various markets including Europe. Within Thailand, the association plans to work with many villages to promote their unique products, including local foods and fruits, culture, and festivals to outsiders.