The Ban Bang Rong Community welcomes ambassadors and consuls from various countries

The Ban Bang Rong Community welcomes ambassadors and consuls from various countries

Community-based tourism has become an integral part of current global tourism trends that essentially aligns with the direction the local tourism industry is taking in 2022. The tourism industry is showing a trend toward sustainable tourism that combines the learning of local culture and environmental, or nature, awareness with the rich narrative of an old community, its way of life and folk culture.

Each community’s geographic location has its unique charms and attractions worth visiting. The trend toward community-based tourism has proven to benefit local communities, bringing added value to the existing local resources, growth to the local economy and developing potential for sustained tourism.

The Phuket Tourist Association in cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phuket Office and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) recently organized a Phuket familiarization trip joined by members of Thailand’s diplomatic corps including ambassadors with spouses and consuls from 21 nations to explore Phuket’s Ban Bang Rong Community as part of “Ambassador’s Trip to Phuket 2021”. Joining the trip were ambassadors of 11 countries: Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. The visiting consuls represented 10 countries. The group visited Phuket to study a successful model of community-based tourism at Ban Bang Rong Community in Thalang district’s Paklok. Ban Bang Rong community leaders were on hand to welcome the diplomats and take them on a tour of the community to observe the locals’ traditional way of life. The trip aimed to provide the visiting ambassadors and consuls with an opportunity to witness first-hand Phuket’s preparedness to welcome international visitors with its measures to contain and prevent the spread of Covid-19 to ensure health and safety of visitors. It was hoped that the visiting diplomats would get across the message to the citizens of their countries.

Ban Bang Rong is an old community steeped in history, representing one of Phuket’s community-based tourism destinations. Sandwiched between a hill and the Andaman Sea, the village still has an abundance of diverse natural resources in pristine condition. The locals still maintain their simple traditional way of life. Most of the villagers made a living from rubber tapping, traditional marine fishery, goat farming and integrated farming.

Prasert Ritraksa, president of the Ban Bang Rong Community Based Tourism Club, and members of Ban Bang Rong Community, were delighted to extend a warm welcome to the visiting ambassadors and consuls from various countries. Upon arrival, the visitors were given a briefing on interesting facts about Ban Bang Rong’s conservation tourism model. Here visitors can experience the community’s genuine vibrant folk culture. Ambassadors, consuls and their spouses were excited to take part in local activities such as rubber tapping, pineapple harvesting in a pineapple orchard of integrated farming, and harvesting young coconuts in a coconut palm orchard. They also had their first taste of fresh young coconuts from a nearby coconut palm plantation. In addition, the visitors also joined demonstrations of cooking techniques for local sweet dishes such as old-fashioned kanom krok (Thai coconut puddings with toppings), kanom pallang (grilled sticky rice stuffed with coconut, ground dried shrimp and pepper) of the Peranakans in Phuket, and cha chak (milk tea). Thanks to these entertaining and impressive activities, the visitors got the hang of the local culture and the local way of life at Ban Bang Rong.

Those interested in experiencing community-based tourism at Ban Bang Rong and touring the community as a group can make arrangements by calling 094-714-8707

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