Local Alike, a social enterprise dedicated to sustainable community-based tourism, is supporting “Amazing Thailand Go Local”, a campaign by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in response to government policy for 55 provinces after the cabinet announced tax reduction measures for second-tier tourist destinations through 2018.
Local Alike is one of the first social enterprises in Thailand to focus on promoting and supporting local communities. Acting as a community information conduit, interesting and alternative perspectives are offered to travelers who are invited to discover what each community has to offer. Local Alike also works with communities in enhancing their value through developing various tourist activities.
Local Alike is playing its part in the government’s drive to boost tourism to secondary destinations by introducing travellers to community-based tourism. In addition to seminars and training provided in various locations, community tourism content will be created and published through Local Alike’s social media so the general public can value Thailand’s unique local community identities and cultures.
Local Alike anticipates growth in community-based tourism, with the government expected to continue its support for the time being, benefiting both communities and tourists. Communities will enjoy more income that can be used to improve the quality of life and existing facilities. In addition, communities can feel pride in their own identity and culture as tourists enjoy interactions with the locals, making new discoveries and opening their eyes to a different way of life while enjoying nature’s beauty and memorable experiences. Furthermore, tourists can experience the essence and charm of each locale and get to the root of current happenings. In promoting sustainable community development, Local Alike will launch campaigns for tours of secondary cities throughout this year, with the year’s first campaign for travellers to discover as follows:
Nakhon Si See Inside This campaign brings a new dimension to local tourism in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Discover natural attractions, enjoy authentic activities carried out by people of this Southern region, savor the traditional southern Thai cuisine and fresh fruits from the orchards and more!
Local Alike currently offers 70 community tours in 30 provinces. The most popular tour among tourists is the Ban Hloyo Route in Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai Province. Visitors can experience the genuine Akha way of life, culture, traditional games, cuisine, and fresh mountain air. They will also have the opportunity to establish good relations with the communities. Most tourists who join Local Alike tours are Thais between the ages of 30-50 years old and families, who love nature and are always keen to learn new things.
“I would like to make local tourism another option for tourists where good times can be experienced by everybody. Communities will enjoy sustainable development while tourists have profound travel experiences. It delights Local Alike to see communities stand on their own two feet.” said Somsak Boonkham, Founder and CEO of Local Alike.
“This government policy will result in attracting more tourists interested in visiting local communities. At the same time, communities will need to prepare for increasing tourist numbers and enhance their own management abilities in order for tourists to discover and experience communities to the fullest. Conversely, Likewise, visitors need to also be good tourists. They need to be mindful and respect local cultures and traditions within each community, and to keep locales free of litter. These critical factors can prevent future problems, enabling visitors to have pleasant and positive experiences and ensuring that the community itself will be ready and willing to welcome tourists in greater numbers.