Sustainable tourism is tourism that positively impacts the tourism industry, society, and environment. The World Tourism Organization describes it as tourism that fully accounts for the current and future environmental, economic, and social impacts.
On the other hand, responsible tourism is about making better places for people to visit and live in. While sustainable tourism focuses on a global level, responsible tourism focuses on the strategies and actions that businesses, communities, tourist managers, and individuals take to minimize the negative effects of their tourism activities.
Many hotels around the world support sustainable and responsible tourism. If you visit Thailand, some of the hotels that support sustainable and responsible tourism include:
Sustainable & Responsible Hotels in Thailand
Akyra Thonglor Bangkok
This is one of The Akaryn Hotel Group hotels featuring Bangkok’s creative flair and urban style. The group was among the first hotel groups in the country to eradicate single-use plastics from all their properties. They also support marine conservation in partnership with Pure Blue. akyra Thonglor Bangkok offers luxury hotel rooms together with long stay serviced suites.
Located on the western banks of River Chao Phraya, this resort is one of the beautiful resorts in the Anantara group of hotels, which has a huge commitment to sustainable tourism. There are 11 acres of beautiful greenery around the resort with a perfect view.
You can also be part of several excursions to explore the beauty and the communities living around the hotel.
Bangkok Tree House
Also known as the “green lung of Bangkok,” this is a green and organic hotel and restaurant which gives you one of the most unique stays in the country.
With its natural green surroundings and short downtown proximity, you get the best of both worlds. The whole hotel is made using recycled metal and bamboo, and locals provide the labour.
Banyan Tree Bangkok
This luxury hotel is part of the Banyan Tree hotel group and is the only 5-star, all-suite hotel in the City with the biggest luxurious accommodation in Bangkok. The Banyan Tree hotel group formed the Banyan Tree Global Foundation, through which they support several responsible tourism initiatives.
Faasai Resort & Spa
This is an eco-resort with the aim of supporting the community and preserving the environment. The resort has a yoga retreat, fruit forest, rocks, swamps, a tropical garden, and many more beautiful things to enjoy during your stay.
Akyra Manor Chiang Mai
Located in the Nimmanhaemin area, this boutique luxury hotel has partnered with Pure Blue Foundation to help with Thailand’s marine conservation. It is also signed up to the Sustainable Travel Pledge by UNESCO.
akyra Manor Chiang Mai is only a short 15-minute drive from Chiang Mai International Airport and close to two of the most well-known old city gates.
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
Overlooking Ping River is one of the hotels with the most beautiful view in Thailand. It operates several green policies like minimizing energy and water consumption to help preserve the environment.
They also partner with local artisans who help highlight Chiang Mai’s cultural heritage with structures and decorations around the hotel.
Chai Lai Orchid
If you visit the Chiang Mai countryside, this is one of the hotels that will give you the most unique, satisfying, and beautiful stays. You get to enjoy fresh, locally sourced food and ethical elephant experiences.
A local team will also tell you more about Chiang Mai and its history. The hotel gives back to the community via an anti-trafficking organization called Daughters Rising, which helps girls and women at risk.
Rabean Pasak Chiangmai Treehouse Resort
Located about 90 minutes from downtown Chiang Mai, this family-owned treehouse resort is one of the most intimate places you can stay in Thailand. Khun Lee, the owner, is a retired architect, and he built the resort initially as a family home but opened it as a resort in 2012.
There are two family tree houses and six cottage tree houses, all in the midst of the teakwood forest.
U Chiang Mai
Located in the middle of Chiang Mai’s Old Town, this is a luxury boutique hotel with 41 luxury rooms, a spa, gym, and swimming pool. It supports local charities like Wild Flower and Baan Kingkaew Orphanage.
They have a program called ‘U make a Difference,’ which means every night guests spend in the hotel, some of the money goes to the charities.
137 Pillars House
This historic house built in the late 1800s is one of the most beautiful places. The architecture, teak wood, and design reflect the 19-th century, perfect if you love antique things.
It has a partnership with an elephant sanctuary called the Elephant nature park, which supports ethical elephant experiences in the country.
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort
Located in northern Thailand, this resort has one of the most beautiful views. They have a mahout camp where you get to interact with elephants, a cruise on the Mekong River, and a spa.
Its elephant camp, conservation program, and scientific research have won the hotel several awards. It has partnered with Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation to help captive and wild elephants in Thailand.
They also work with mahouts and scientists to protect elephants for the current and future generations.
Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort
If you are looking for a beautiful, luxurious, and natural place to relax, this is the hotel for you. Located in a beautiful mountain setting, the rooms in the hotel are made of bamboo, and the hotel has several eco-friendly initiatives.
The hotel has its reservoirs where they source water and on-site organic orchids and farms where they source their fruits and vegetables. They also support the locals by buying meat and seasonal vegetables and fruits.
Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa
Located in Pranburi, this boutique luxury resort has some of the most fantastic beach views, with every suite found a few steps from the beach. It is a perfect venue if you want to hold a beach wedding or go for a honeymoon.
The resort uses local suppliers and producers, which has seen it reduce its carbon footprint to levels other resorts have not reached. They produce the paper they use locally, then recycle it and give it to local schools.
Aleenta Hua Hin also maintain and replant indigenous plants and inspire the younger generation to participate in eco-friendly projects.
Khao Lak Merlin
This is one of the hotels with Thailand’s most notable sustainable efforts. They have a waterfall and ancient trees within their premise, which helps preserve Kao Lak’s natural environment and landscape.
They have eco-adventures like river rafting, elephant bathing, and tropical gardens where you get to interact with nature.
They also have several innovative and diverse sustainability projects and are known for their immense support for the community. Their sustainability efforts have seen them win the Responsible Thailand Awards several times.
This luxury boutique beach resort in Phang Nga is committed to helping improve the lives of the community. They work to ensure that the economic benefits of tourism get to the local economy.
They have several ‘Sarojin Cares’ initiatives to limit their water and energy consumption, help the local community, decrease their carbon footprint, and reduce their waste and plastic usage.
They contribute directly to several good causes via The Sarojin Khao Lak Community Fund, and they also have a tourism committee that helps uphold the best practices.
Anurak Community Lodge
Located at the Khao Sok national park, this is an eco-resort perfect for eco-conscious travellers and nature lovers. The lodge is a part of the local community and does its best to employ locals and support local businesses in the area.
This hotel comprises jungle camps, which are the first luxury tented jungle parks. It gives you the perfect combination of a safari and Thai tropical forests. It is also one of the resorts that inspire ethical elephant experiences.
They emphasize recycling and partner with the local community by improving education through their Elephant Hills Children’s Project and employing the locals.
Located on Thailand’s east coast, this luxurious hotel has one of the best views on the island and is the perfect blend of eco-friendly and luxury.
They formed the Soneva Foundation, through which they give 2% of all the money they get from guests to different local and environmental projects.
They have also partnered with Save Our Seas, The International Pole & Line Foundation, and the Olive Ridley Project to preserve marine life by propagating 50,000 corals at every resort every year.
Pimalai Resort & Spa
This resort works with local schools on different initiatives that encourage the next generation to maintain and preserve the environment. They have a job training program to train students looking for first-hand hotelier experience.
They are also part of the Little Scientist House project to encourage young children to get involved in fun science educational activities.
Pimalai Resort & Spa invites children from local schools monthly to participate in their garbage pickup. This way, the resort creates a stronger bond with the community and teaches children how to take care of the environment from a young age.
They have reduce, reuse, and recycle strategies to help minimize waste and come up with better ways to dispose of waste that they cannot recycle.
Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa
Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa was recently awarded as Thailand’s Best Small Green Resort.
This resort has sustainable and responsible travel at its core. Involved with local community projects, renewable and sustainable energy initiatives and part of the Pure Blue foundation.
Aleenta offers a range of experiences around local culture and nature in the area.
This hotel adheres to the global sustainable tourism councils recommendations. Amanpuri also offers organic and where possible sustainable food to guests as well as healthcare of employees and the local community.
Banyan Tree Phuket
This hotel supports an array of responsible tourism initiatives through its own foundation. Tree planting, education and support for local fisherman is all part of this hotels initiatives.
Como Point Yamu
This hotels sources locally wherever possible and also has water and energy conservation measures in place throughout the hotel.
Keemala concentrates on educating tourists and visitors on ethical animal tourism and cultural experiences.
Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Retreat
This hotel carefully manages water with wells and water recycling. Swimming pools are salt water and energy conservation lighting is used.