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Three Thai Finalists in Wild Asia's 2008 Responsible Tourism Awards

BANGKOK, 23 September, 2008 -- There are three Thai finalists in the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards for 2008. They are: Six Senses Hideaway at Phang Nga in the luxury and boutique category, Faasai Resort and Spa in Chanthaburi in the budget category, and Andaman Discoveries in Phang Nga in the community-run home-stay category.

There are eight finalists altogether in the awards which were open to contestants throughout Asia. The other five finalists are from India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia.

This is the third year that Wild Asia has held the awards, which recognize tourism operators who are committed to following the principles of Responsible Tourism.

Over 40 candidates filled out Wild Asia's self-assessment checklist. The criteria for choosing the finalists centers on three core principles related to economic, environmental and social objectives. These include protection of the environment, conservation of water and electricity, efficient waste disposal, support for the local community, treatment of staff and education for visitors. All the finalists will be visited by a fact-finding team from Wild Asia that will check on-site operations, talk to staff and guests and visit local businesses and attractions promoted by operators in surrounding areas. This allows Wild Asia to gain a better understanding of the resort property, how it is run and its impacts in the area.

A member of the Wild Asia Fact Finder team Rick Gregory, who visited the Faasai Resort and Spa in August, said the objective of the awards is to encourage responsible practices in the tourism industry. He said the publicity and examples from the awards would give travelers an opportunity to distinguish between good operators and less responsible ones.

"Travelers are very intelligent, they know what they're looking for, so nobody can just claim to be green, people have to see that a hotel is green.

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