Traveling to an unfamiliar place can be daunting, especially for people who aspire to do so ethically. Fortunately the Responsible Tourism Guide to the Mekong helps light the way for travelers visiting Southeast Asia and parts of China. The site includes details on places and activities that will bring life to ones travels while leaving the smallest possible footprint. Andaman Discoveries became their first Thailand entry this month.
One of the major challenges for a small organization like Andaman Discoveries is marketing and promotion – our budget is limited, and we are not priced to compete with mass tourism. We therefore rely heavily on a continued presence in responsible travel websites and guidebooks. This new listing helps spread the word about our tours and volunteer placements, while adding to the list of influential responsible tourism websites that already feature Andaman Discoveries, including responsibletravel.com, the world’s leading travel agent for responsible holidays, as well as Wild Asia and the True Travelers Society.
The Responsible Tourism Guide to the Mekong website provides an overview about Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Guangxi and Yunnan provinces of China. In addition, the site includes details on ethical places for hungry travelers to quench their thirst and fill their bellies, unique accommodations to rest their heads and things to do to bring life to ones travels.
For example, when travelers visit two cafes in Cambodia, Café 151 in Phnom Penh and Joe-To-Go in Siem Reap, they are doing more than getting their daily caffeine fix. Profits from the cafes help raise funds for the non-profit organization, The Global Child, which builds and operates specialty schools and safe houses for gifted street children.
The Gibbon Experience, in Laos, offers travelers a chance to rest their heads in the treetops of the Bokeo Nature Reserve. Guests can sleep in tree houses by night and fly through the tree canopies on zip lines by day.
According to the website, it was “inspired by ‘The Guide to Responsible Tourism in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam’, a publication of the Mekong Tourism Development Project (MTDP). The Guide was funded by the Ministry of Tourism Cambodia, the Lao National Tourism Administration and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism with loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as part of a MTDP initiative to support sub-regional cooperation for sustainable tourism. The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is charged with its distribution and promotion.”