Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui on conserving Thailand's rich shoreline
The Thai resort has launched the Coral Conservation Project to protect the country's rich marine life
When a hotel talks about ethical or sustainable tourism, visitors can often find themselves faced with a difficult decision – to ignore questionable excursion in favour of experiencing new cultures, wildlife or adventures, or be certain of your responsibility but risk missing out on the photo opportunity. Not so for the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui in the tourist hotspot of Thailand. Launching a new Coral Conservation Project in partnership with Thailand's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), the resort has created a marine conservation effort with its guests in mind. Inviting guests to engage in the project – from snorkelling to the coral reefs, to learning about how the resort is building up the reefs for future generations.
"We realised that we have quite a healthy reef around the Resort and wanted to take charge of sustaining it for not just the present but for the generations to come," general manager Jeff Rednour exclusively told Tempus. "We have already transplanted 8000 coral fragments into the ocean bed which are healthy and thriving. Through this programme, we hope to have over 20,000 fragments regenerated and restored by the end of the year."
Guests of Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui can engage in the project, led by in-house marine biologists, Sarocha Pakeenuya and Benjawan Sansittisakunlird, and even help in the transferral of pieces of coral to a nursery platform where they can be revived and strengthened. >>
"Year-on-year, Thailand has seen the largest number of international tourist arrivals in the world and a large number of those travellers are making their way to beaches / islands around the country," said Rednour. "While the government is doing a stellar job with managing the marine life and conservation efforts, we thought that we could partner with them as well as the local community to do our part in helping the conservation efforts."
Opened in 2007, the hillside resort overlooks the tropical Gulf of Thailand with villas amid acres of gardens and coconut groves. It is one of three luxury Four Seasons resorts in the country. "Guests have been nothing but appreciative of the initiative. The Coral Talk programme, led by our in-house Marine Biologists, has been a great experience for guests who would like to learn more about corals, marine life and our efforts in conservation. For guests who would like to discover the underwater treasures, the guided snorkelling tours just off our beach has been fascinating," he said.
Radnour also told us that the project is just part of the Four Seasons commitment to environmental sustainability. "Four Seasons is at the forefront of conservation and community efforts. We already have great programmes in some of our resorts like the Maldives and together with our in-house teams of experts, we look forward to strengthening our efforts in this field."