Planeterra has worked closely with The Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute since 2015 to improve community tourism in the indigenous communities of Ban Pha Mon (Red Lahu) and Ban Muang Pam (Karen). These communities were connected to the G Adventures market in 2016 and hosted 600 G Adventures' travellers that year.
Planeterra's annual impact assessment showed that increased traveller numbers had led to positive impact on knowledge, skill development, cultural exchange and additional income for the community through tourism. However, it was also observed that the community was consuming far more resources with the new influx of travellers, with increased strain on water, food and power.
The 2016 rainy season caused flooding in both Ban Pha Mon and Ban Muang Pam that completely destroyed some of their irrigation system, which led to an insufficient amount of water to be used in the village.
In Febrary 2018, Planeterra supported these two communities to build 10 water tanks to meet increased water demand. Communities provided their labor, skills and knowledge to build the water tanks locally. Each water tank is able to contain up to 4,000 litres, increasing each village’s capacity to 20,000 litres. The water also will be used for travellers as well as families in the community.
This community effort allows for sustained tourism activities in the two communities for years to come. Thank you to all donors that support Planeterra, helping others to uplift their quality of life, sustaining the community environment and developing community infrastructure.
Panot is Planeterra's Field Manager for Asia. With vast experience working in community based tourism in Thailand, Panot is now bringing his expertise throughout the continent with Planeterra.