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

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15