SKAL World Congress recognized the ecolodge for its commitment to sustainability in rural accommodation
On September 15th, Sunday, the Anurak Community Lodge; an eco-friendly hotel in southern Thailand was honored at the global 2019 SKAL Sustainable Tourism Award in the Rural Accommodation category. The award was presented at the 80th SKAL World Congress, which was held onboard the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas cruise ship in the waters off Florida.
The result was based on the decision of the three judges of different nationalities, and is based sustainability criteria such as nature preservation, animal welfare, carbon offsetting, climate change mitigation, energy and water-saving, cultural preservation, local community involvement, human rights protection, health and safety for employees and guests, local employment, employee participation, training, and economic viability.
Fortunately, the Anurak Community Lodge got the highest aggregate score of the entries. SKAL international has been presenting its sustainable tourism awards since 2002.
More About the Anurak Community Lodge
The lodge, which opened in 2016 was basically a secluded nature hideaway and activities for guests. It’s located between Koh Samui and Phuket on the southern Thai peninsula. They offer 20 eco-friendly rooms across 12 well-appointed bungalows and two safari-style tents. Exciting activities to try here include hiking, rope climbing, river kayaking, cycling, rafting, and exploring the famous Chiew Larn lake.
The other awards were for Community and Government Projects, Countryside and Biodiversity; Educational Institutions/Programmes and Media; Major Tourist Attractions; Marine and Coastal; Tour Operators and Travel Agents; Tourism Transport; and Urban Accommodation.
Willem Niemeijer, the CEO of YAANA Ventures said that their aim is to return a plantation of palm oil trees beside the lodge to full indigenous rainforest cover. Ever since its operation, they have implemented an ethos of reduce, reuse and recycle – where guests and staff are also encouraged to save energy and water.
Other things that are prohibited here are the single-use plastic, Styrofoam, plastic straws, and cardboard plates are banned. As a matter of fact, the eco-lodge have provided bamboo and metal straws as an alternative to plastic straws.
Inside the lodge is an onsite recycling station along with a composting area and a treatment filter system for laundry wastewater is in place. In addition to this amazing practice, Anurak is currently working to replace an old oil palm plantation that would have once been lowland evergreen forest with indigenous flora. All of the mentioned efforts are part of Anurak’s wide-ranging sustainability management plan, which includes releasing a publicly available sustainability report every six months.
Before bagging the recent award, the Anurak Community Lodge (resort info) in June, won the 2019 SKAL Asian Area Award – Environment Category, and was also selected by National Geographic Traveller (UK) to be part of its prestigious Earth Collection – a compilation of 36 ecolodges around the world that are leading by example in responsible tourism.
The lodge manager, George Newling-Ward added, “It’s a particular joy to see guests join in and staff take the ideas home to implement in the community.”