7 Greens Concept’s triumph at the PATA Gold Awards 2012 cements the success of TAT’s Green Tourism

7 Greens Concept's triumph at the PATA Gold Awards 2012

7 Greens Concept’s triumph at the PATA Gold Awards 2012

It was yet another historic moment for Thailand as the country swept 3 big awards for 7 Greens Concepts, Cultural Destination and 2 Ecotourism attractions in Sukhothai.

Winners of the Pacific Asia Travel Association or PATA Gold Awards 2012 were announced Apr 21, 2012 at Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumper. The Tourism Authority of Thailand or TAT won the Grand Awards in Environment for its 7 Greens Concept, which is a holistic approach to manage the environment that involves all parties from the attraction, operators, community down to the tourists themselves. In addition, the Organic Agriculture Project at Sukhothai Airport and Banna Tonjan Community in Sri Sachanalai District, both in Sukhothai Province also won top prize in Environment-Ecotourism and Heritage and Culture respectively.

“The prestigious awards are honorable and pride of the country. They reflect international recognition of our effort to go green and a reconfirmation that we’re stepping toward to right direction” said Vilaiwan Thawitch-sri, TAT Deputy Governor for Product and Tourism Business upon collecting the awards.

7 Greens Concept has been implemented since 2008 with series of promotional activities, training and providing know-how to related agencies, operators and community and creating awareness among tourists. There are four pilot destinations for 7 Greens Concept namely Chiang Khan Loei Province, Pai Mae Hong Son Province, Nan and Samui Surat Thani Province.

The deputy governor further stated these awards will influence local operators as they show how important it is to address the issues of environment, heritage and culture or local way of life to strengthen the community and achieve sustainable tourism.

Two players from private sector also got recognized at this event. They are Banyan Tree Spa, Gold Award Winner for Education and Training at the Banyan Tree Spa Academy and Media Trans Asia whose article “Can this be Paradise” in Travel & Leisure, USA won the award in Travel Journalism-Destination Article category.

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Lantern Festival Night in Chiang Mai Thailand

Lantern Festival Night in Chiang Mai Thailand

Lantern Festival Night in Chiang Mai Thailand

I’ve booked a flight to Chiang Mai at the northern tip of Thailand on November 28 and have just discover that’s the night of the lantern festival night. We’ll be staying in a hotel on Wualai Road, which isn’t too far from the airport and the city centre. Our flight doesn’t get in to Chiang Mai until 7pm. Will we have time to drop our luggage and join the festival? We really want to see it as it’s our first time in Chiang Mai.

Nationwide, the festival is known as Loy Krathong, and this year, as you’ve found out, it falls on November 28. In the Chiang Mai version, people also send lanterns into the sky, which are known as Yi Peng.

You will have more time to enjoy the festival than you might expect. The festival this year runs from November 27 to 29, so you will see the light from the lanterns as you arrive. If you land at 7pm, you should be at the hotel by 8pm and thus will have plenty of time to join the crowds, who happily release lanterns and fireworks until late, making the city sound rather like war zone. If you want to see the spectacular procession of krathong, head to Tha Pae Gate. Alternatively, you may go to the Navarat Bridge or anywhere along the Ping River to join the crowds releasing krathong on the river and lanterns in the sky.

If you want to rest that day, you can still attend the last day of the festival on November 29, which will see another grand krathong procession in Chiang Mai city as well as plenty of lanterns being released.

Hope you enjoy the festival!