Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Koh Klang finds sustainable way to draw in tourists



Koh Klang finds sustainable way to draw in tourists

Visitors leave a lunch spot on the island of Koh Klang.
Visitors leave a lunch spot on the island of Koh Klang. Vandy Muong

Koh Klang finds sustainable way to draw in tourists

The charming village of Koh Klang south of Thailand is a relatively unspoiled hideaway that is working on improving the livelihoods of the locals via community based tourism.

Taking a traditional long-tailed boat through the mangroves from the Chao Fa pier, tourists can soak up the laid back country lifestyle of Koh Klang village which is inhabited by about 5,000 people. Tie-dying fabric, fishing and riding around the island on a personal tricycle are among the variety of activities on offer on at Koh Klang.

Sopha Koh Klang, 45, a community representative who supervises development of community based tourism in Koh Klang, said there are 15 communities in Krabi province which are under the support from the community based tourism project within Thailand’s tourism ministry.

Community based tourism involves local residents inviting tourists to visit their communities. The tourists receive accommodation while the residents are able to earn an income via tourist activities that take place within the community.

Sopha said tourists venturing to Koh Klong get the chance to see how local people live their lives in a way that is sustainable and community-friendly.

Paramatta Chuaykarn, an owner of Kidthung Cottage homestay on Koh Klang, told Post Property that community based tourism had assisted locals find employment in homestays, restaurants and elsewhere in the community.

“I expect that the local villagers can keep their way of life while tourism and investment continues to flow to this area,” he said.

Pansita Sasirawuth, a public relations executive from community based tourism group Local Alike which matches travelers with local communities and responsible tour operators, said the Koh Klang community was getting stronger as more and more locals were getting involved in tourism.

“Co-creation can be the answer from our experience because the traveler can help assist the community grow as well as create a positive impact for the establishment of enhanced tourism development practices,” she said. “It also helps locals manage their community in a sustainable way.”

Local Alike is currently undertaking tourism capacity building programs in seven communities around Thailand.

Tourists making their way to virgin vistas of the Chambok community in Cambodia.
Tourists making their way to virgin vistas of the Chambok community in Cambodia. Photo supplied

While community based tourism in gaining traction in Thailand, Cambodia is also no stranger to this sustainable tourism concept.

Bou Chan Serey, deputy director general of Cambodia’s tourism development and international cooperation, told Post Property that Cambodia started community based tourism and ecotourism many years ago to improve the living standards of locals.

One of the community-based ecotourism examples is Chambok, a community of nine rural villages where visitors can experience village life, and explore the area’s beautiful natural surroundings in Kampong Speu province.

Chan Serey said “The Ministry of Tourism and some independent organisations have organised community based tourism and ecotourism projects with 56 local communities recently.”

Associate Professor Chavanee Tongroach, who is also Thailand’s deputy Minister for Tourism and Sports and recently presided over the opening of the ASEAN Travel Journo Camp in Bangkok, encouraged the ASEAN region to work closely together to develop more community based tourism projects.

This reporter recently traveled to Thailand to attend the ASEAN Travel Journo Camp.

This article previously identified the second image in this story as Koh Klang, Thailand. It is in fact in Cambodia. The Post apologises for the error.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At