Mar 18, 2017

Conscious Travel

Where are your tourist dollars going when you visit Phuket?

Learn more about the impact of how you spend your money when you travel.

BAck to blogs

Every time you spend money as a tourist overseas you are either aiding or abetting the local economy. GOOD Travel met with The Vijitt Resort in Phuket, Thailand, to understand more about local ownership and its wider impact on the community.

Locally owned accommodation providers are one of the many catalysts for changing the tourism industry into a force for good. With the same intent as GOOD Travel’s core vision, many locally owned businesses promote and facilitate travel that gives back to the local community, economy, and environment. Staying with locally owned accommodation providers while you travel also gives you the unique opportunity to be one conversation away from understanding the local environment, culture and ‘good’ things to do.

As a resort, The Vijitt is still owned by the same local Thai family that bought the land in 1975 During the construction of the resort, every effort was made to keep as many of the existing, mature trees as possible. As a result, the location of some villas was moved to accommodate the trees and do not have an 180-degree sea view.

GOOD Travel met with Tair, the Assistant Director of Sales at The Vijitt Resort in Phuket, Thailand, to understand more about local ownership of The Vijitt. 

As a resort, The Vijitt is still owned by the same local Thai family that bought the land in 1975 During the construction of the resort, every effort was made to keep as many of the existing, mature trees as possible. As a result, the location of some villas was moved to accommodate the trees and do not have an 180-degree sea view. Despite this, guests can still wander down to the beach from the Resort. It is situated on one of the longest stretches of sand in Southern Phuket, known as Friendship Beach. This beach is great for families as the seafloor has a very gentle incline and is not known for rips. At low-tide there is more beach than water, which makes for great marine walks if you time it right.

The Vijitt has 92 luxury stand-alone villas on the 18-acre beachfront property. The architectural design of the Resort relies heavily on wood and bamboo structures to blend in with the natural environment and has a truly “Thai” look and feel. Each public space within the Resort has an open-air design to prevent the need for air-conditioning and take advantage of the natural sea-breeze. Although guests can opt to use air-conditioning in their villa, each room is equipped with ceiling fans so that energy-saving is always an option.

The villas are set amid lush tropical trees and over 300 different types of local fauna, including fruit and vegetable plants. The Vijitt reminds guests of the rationale for the Resort layout, "be aware that you are helping the world by enjoying the natural view of the azure-blue sea mixed with the untainted vivid greenery that forms part of ‘native’ Phuket - much of which is being lost on a daily basis as Phuket develops."

As the resort is locally owned and operated, there is an understanding and appreciation of the property’s history and a conscious effort to maintain its legacy. 

The owners of the resort wanted to keep these trees to maintain the natural environment, provide habitat for indigenous animal and bird species, offset the carbon emissions of guests who choose to fly to Phuket and protect the ozone layer.  Besides the natural beauty it offers the Resort, the greenery also gives guests an opportunity to interact with the natural Thai environment. “Before this was a Resort, it used to be all fruit and rubber plantations,” Tair explains, “guests can try rubber-tabbing with the rubber trees here, they can also see our herb garden and learn about Thai culinary ingredients, or try a Thai cooking class.”

Try a Thai cooking class using ingredients fresh from The Vijitt's gardens

As the Resort is locally owned and operated, there is an understanding and appreciation of the property’s history and a conscious effort to maintain its legacy. Simply, by participating in the rubber-tapping activity, guests will learn about the rubber industry, of which Thailand is the largest producer of natural rubber in the world. As a guest, you can take advantage of the Resort’s activities and become a more informed traveller.

Experience rubber tapping - a legacy industry still alive in Phuket.

Besides rubber tapping and Thai cooking classes, guests at The Vijitt can engage in a wide range of activities on-site to learn about the local environment and culture. This includes Thai language lessons, botanical garden walks, Muay Thai, yoga and a beach marine walk. As the Vijitt is a 5-star beachfront resort there is also the usual swimming, sunbathing, and pool lounging for sun worshippers. 

Local ownership means that numerous social benefits flow on to the local community in Rawai and the wider Phuket area. The Vijitt uses local suppliers for fruit and vegetables, the products used in The V Spa, and the souvenir shop. Although the restaurant does rely on some imported ingredients to complete its menu, much of the produce is seasonal and locally-sourced.

The impact of your money staying in the local community travels much further than you might appreciate. Research from the Michigan State University echoes the positive impact of spending your tourism dollars with locally-owned tourism businesses. Dollars spent locally can then be re-spent locally, raising the overall level of economic activity, paying local salaries, and growing the local tax base. This re-circulating money increases economic activity, with the degree of expanse completely dependent on the percentage of money spent locally. Michigan State produced a model of this, showing that for every $100 spent at a local business, around $73 recirculates in the local economy; paying salaries, maintaining public/social services and re-purchasing of local goods & services etc. Foreign business, on the other hand, only sees approximately $43 of every $100 recirculate in the local economy.

Source: Michigan State University

Like local businesses shown in the Michigan State University’s model, The Vijitt employs mostly local staff. About 95% of the staff are Thai, many being Phuket natives. As you walk around the Resort, the staff will greet you with the traditional Thai bow accompanied by, “Sawasdee Khap” (for men) or “Sawadee Kha” (for women). 

The Vijitt lobby has been built to accommodate the sea breezes.

You can ask staff for recommendations of what to see and do while in Southern Phuket, and the Resort organises free shuttles to many of the nearby beaches and shopping areas. But for most guests, the best-kept secret is the beautiful greenery surrounding The Vijitt villas, fringed by Friendship Beach. This beach is far more peaceful than nearby beaches like Nai Harn, Kata and Patong and local groups regularly clean it.  

You can read more about how the Vijitt aligns with some of GOOD Travel's principles for GOOD tourism below.

See More:

MORE BLOGS
GOOD Travel blog author

Emma Raymond

Emma is a business consultant doing strategy and operations across the non-profit, public and private sectors. She has a passion for sustainable business solutions that have a positive long-term impact on the community, the environment and the economy. Emma also loves muay thai and ice cream.

Every time you spend money as a tourist overseas you are either aiding or abetting the local economy. GOOD Travel met with The Vijitt Resort in Phuket, Thailand, to understand more about local ownership and its wider impact on the community.

Locally owned accommodation providers are one of the many catalysts for changing the tourism industry into a force for good. With the same intent as GOOD Travel’s core vision, many locally owned businesses promote and facilitate travel that gives back to the local community, economy, and environment. Staying with locally owned accommodation providers while you travel also gives you the unique opportunity to be one conversation away from understanding the local environment, culture and ‘good’ things to do.

As a resort, The Vijitt is still owned by the same local Thai family that bought the land in 1975 During the construction of the resort, every effort was made to keep as many of the existing, mature trees as possible. As a result, the location of some villas was moved to accommodate the trees and do not have an 180-degree sea view.

GOOD Travel met with Tair, the Assistant Director of Sales at The Vijitt Resort in Phuket, Thailand, to understand more about local ownership of The Vijitt. 

As a resort, The Vijitt is still owned by the same local Thai family that bought the land in 1975 During the construction of the resort, every effort was made to keep as many of the existing, mature trees as possible. As a result, the location of some villas was moved to accommodate the trees and do not have an 180-degree sea view. Despite this, guests can still wander down to the beach from the Resort. It is situated on one of the longest stretches of sand in Southern Phuket, known as Friendship Beach. This beach is great for families as the seafloor has a very gentle incline and is not known for rips. At low-tide there is more beach than water, which makes for great marine walks if you time it right.

The Vijitt has 92 luxury stand-alone villas on the 18-acre beachfront property. The architectural design of the Resort relies heavily on wood and bamboo structures to blend in with the natural environment and has a truly “Thai” look and feel. Each public space within the Resort has an open-air design to prevent the need for air-conditioning and take advantage of the natural sea-breeze. Although guests can opt to use air-conditioning in their villa, each room is equipped with ceiling fans so that energy-saving is always an option.

The villas are set amid lush tropical trees and over 300 different types of local fauna, including fruit and vegetable plants. The Vijitt reminds guests of the rationale for the Resort layout, "be aware that you are helping the world by enjoying the natural view of the azure-blue sea mixed with the untainted vivid greenery that forms part of ‘native’ Phuket - much of which is being lost on a daily basis as Phuket develops."

As the resort is locally owned and operated, there is an understanding and appreciation of the property’s history and a conscious effort to maintain its legacy. 

The owners of the resort wanted to keep these trees to maintain the natural environment, provide habitat for indigenous animal and bird species, offset the carbon emissions of guests who choose to fly to Phuket and protect the ozone layer.  Besides the natural beauty it offers the Resort, the greenery also gives guests an opportunity to interact with the natural Thai environment. “Before this was a Resort, it used to be all fruit and rubber plantations,” Tair explains, “guests can try rubber-tabbing with the rubber trees here, they can also see our herb garden and learn about Thai culinary ingredients, or try a Thai cooking class.”

Try a Thai cooking class using ingredients fresh from The Vijitt's gardens

As the Resort is locally owned and operated, there is an understanding and appreciation of the property’s history and a conscious effort to maintain its legacy. Simply, by participating in the rubber-tapping activity, guests will learn about the rubber industry, of which Thailand is the largest producer of natural rubber in the world. As a guest, you can take advantage of the Resort’s activities and become a more informed traveller.

Experience rubber tapping - a legacy industry still alive in Phuket.

Besides rubber tapping and Thai cooking classes, guests at The Vijitt can engage in a wide range of activities on-site to learn about the local environment and culture. This includes Thai language lessons, botanical garden walks, Muay Thai, yoga and a beach marine walk. As the Vijitt is a 5-star beachfront resort there is also the usual swimming, sunbathing, and pool lounging for sun worshippers. 

Local ownership means that numerous social benefits flow on to the local community in Rawai and the wider Phuket area. The Vijitt uses local suppliers for fruit and vegetables, the products used in The V Spa, and the souvenir shop. Although the restaurant does rely on some imported ingredients to complete its menu, much of the produce is seasonal and locally-sourced.

The impact of your money staying in the local community travels much further than you might appreciate. Research from the Michigan State University echoes the positive impact of spending your tourism dollars with locally-owned tourism businesses. Dollars spent locally can then be re-spent locally, raising the overall level of economic activity, paying local salaries, and growing the local tax base. This re-circulating money increases economic activity, with the degree of expanse completely dependent on the percentage of money spent locally. Michigan State produced a model of this, showing that for every $100 spent at a local business, around $73 recirculates in the local economy; paying salaries, maintaining public/social services and re-purchasing of local goods & services etc. Foreign business, on the other hand, only sees approximately $43 of every $100 recirculate in the local economy.

Source: Michigan State University

Like local businesses shown in the Michigan State University’s model, The Vijitt employs mostly local staff. About 95% of the staff are Thai, many being Phuket natives. As you walk around the Resort, the staff will greet you with the traditional Thai bow accompanied by, “Sawasdee Khap” (for men) or “Sawadee Kha” (for women). 

The Vijitt lobby has been built to accommodate the sea breezes.

You can ask staff for recommendations of what to see and do while in Southern Phuket, and the Resort organises free shuttles to many of the nearby beaches and shopping areas. But for most guests, the best-kept secret is the beautiful greenery surrounding The Vijitt villas, fringed by Friendship Beach. This beach is far more peaceful than nearby beaches like Nai Harn, Kata and Patong and local groups regularly clean it.  

You can read more about how the Vijitt aligns with some of GOOD Travel's principles for GOOD tourism below.

MORE BLOGS

Emma Raymond

Emma is a business consultant doing strategy and operations across the non-profit, public and private sectors. She has a passion for sustainable business solutions that have a positive long-term impact on the community, the environment and the economy. Emma also loves muay thai and ice cream.

Recent Posts

SEE MORE

Let's stay in touch.

Awesome! We'll stay in touch.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please check your email address and try again.