Kao Thep Pitak
The tourism program in Kao Thep Pitak engages women, men and youth. It provides a new income source for community members while also promoting local entrepreneurs. The income from tourism has allowed community members to improve their living conditions.
The Kao Tep Pitak community is located next to a beautiful suspension bridge with a clear view of a heart-shaped mountain – a perfect photo opportunity for travellers. With the support of a Thai national tourism organization, the community set up a community-based ecotourism enterprise providing homestays, meals and tours to travellers in 2014. Unfortunately, even with their tourism enterprise, most travellers simply passed by the village to take a photo on the bridge. Few travellers came to the community and provided any economic benefits to locals. The association wanted to build a community centre that would allow them to better host guests, but they were unable to raise the necessary funds through tourism.
In partnership with the North Andaman Network (NAN), who originally supported the creation of Kao Tep Pitak’s tourism association, Planeterra was able to provide community members with training in food and hygiene and improvements to the tourism experience. Further, Planeterra provided a grant to see the completion of a community centre which the association had started back in 2016. The community centre included a dining area, kitchen and restrooms for hosting guests. Through Planeterra’s corporate partner G Adventures, we were able to help them secure a stream of thousands of guests to come and visit the community, enjoy fruit orchards, and enjoy a local southern Thai meal. Community members are also able to showcase local handicrafts to the guests which benefits even more community members.