Santiburi Koh Samui Signs UNESCO’s Sustainable Tourism Pledge as Part of Its Deep Commitment to Protecting the Planet

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Santiburi Koh Samui, the high-end, experience-driven beachfront retreat on Samui’s north shore, has enhanced its environmental credentials with a series of important CSR projects that will preserve the island’s natural beauty and help its marine life to survive and thrive.

Single-use plastic is one of the biggest threats to the world’s oceans, and Santiburi has taken another big step towards eliminating it by signing the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge. In partnership with the Expedia Group and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), this initiative demonstrates Santiburi’s full commitment to the United Nations’ mission to reduce plastic waste and promote low-impact travel in Thailand. This also forms part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global blueprint for a more responsible future.

This pledge is a natural step forward for Santiburi; the resort has already banned the use of plastic bottles on its premises, and has instead started producing and bottling its own water, with a refill station for staff, guests and islanders alike. Plastic straws have also been replaced with bamboo or lemongrass versions, and daily beach cleaning exercises are conducted to remove any plastic waste that may have washed ashore and ensure that it doesn’t return to the sea.

One thing that Santiburi has been helping return to the ocean however, is a cluster of baby crabs! In line with the property’s focus on to preserving life under the waves, it recently teamed up with villagers from Baan Mae Nam, a coastal community in Koh Samui, for the “Crab Bank” activity. In cooperation with the residents, Santiburi’s staff members cared for stranded crabs and, when they were ready, released them back into the sea from the resort’s beach.

Naturally, Santiburi’s environmental programmes extend to the land as well as the sea. On 27th August 2020, to celebrate the 65th birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Santiburi joined hands with the Koh Samui Municipality, nearby schools and island residents to take part in a tree-planting exercise. Together, the stakeholders planted a total of 500 Inthanin seedlings, which were provided by a garden centre in Surat Thani province. These beautiful trees, which are native to Thailand, will eventually grow to between 10 and 20 metres in height and produce beautiful pink and purple blossoms.

“It gives us great pleasure to sign UNESCO’s Sustainable Tourism Pledge. We share the United Nations’ commitment to responsible development through its SDGs, which cover every aspect of conservation and will guide us towards a brighter, more sustainable future. At Santiburi, we strive to protect and preserve the planet’s precious eco-systems, above and below the waves. We are delighted to partner with our wonderful guests and stakeholders on such a wide range of important CSR projects,” said Alexandre Frenkel, Santiburi’s General Manager.

Nestled among 23 acres of landscaped gardens and coconut groves, with a 300-metre-long stretch of private sandy beach, Santiburi is a luxurious and eco-sensitive sanctuary for all types of traveller, from couples and honeymooners to families to groups of friends. Its comprehensive CSR programme covers every aspect of its operations, from waste management and water conservation to reforestation, recycling and outreach programmes. The resort has also been officially certified in 2019 as a carbon-neutral hotel by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization.