In November, two members of the Travel Foundation team headed to Thailand to conduct research into a potential new programme of activities. Below Melissa Bellamy and Suzannah Newham have provided the recipe for their scoping trip…
- 1 destination (the stunning Andaman Coast – Phuket and Phang Nga)
- 2 flights (on the Thomson Dreamliner)
- 3 hotels
- 14 thunderstorms
- 1148km driven (1130 by car and 18 by bike, in rain and shine)
- 1 trek in flip flops (to see the ‘Big Tree’)
- 1 trek in smart work shoes (to see a waterfall in Khao Lak National Park)
- 5 different types of boat (speedboats, a local commuter boat, ferry boat, long tail boats and kayaks)
- 72 contacts (including representatives from Andaman Discoveries, Centara, Destination Services, Hotel Beds, IUCN, JW Marriott, Khiri Travel, Khao Lak National Park, Phuket Adventures, Phuket Marine Biological Research Centre, Phuket Nature Tours, Sensi-Mar, Thaimueang Community Based Tourism group, Thaimueang National Park, TUI, Wild Asia, WWF-Thailand, as well as some key individuals and a variety of local communities).
While in Thailand, combine all ingredients at 30 degrees (the average November temperature in Phuket) and allow to sweat in 85% humidity for approximately 2 weeks. Add a pinch of humour and a good dusting of inspiration, to taste.
Back in the UK, blend trip findings together and allow to marinate for a further few weeks. Skim impurities to reveal a clearer, cleaner final concept.
Turn out a focused set of objectives.
Roll these out across 4 key areas (solid waste management in hotels, beach management and turtle protection, carrying capacities for hot spots within national parks, best practice in marine excursions).
The outcome of this recipe will be available on the Travel Foundation website in early 2015.