Andaman Discoveries Blog

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Geotourism Challenge – One Day Left Comment

Comment Online before May 20 to spur AD to Greater Heights!

Thank you to everyone who has commented on our application for the National Geographic "Geotourism Awards.” The response has been overwhelming, and we thank you for supporting of Andaman Discoveries. If you haven’t had a chance yet, you still have one day left to comment on our entry -- the deadline is May 20.

Andaman Discoveries is one of more than 200 entries in the second annual Global Geotourism Challenge: Power of Place -- Sustaining the Future of Destinations. This is a collaborative competition sponsored by National Geographic and Ashoka’s Changemakers to identify and showcase innovators that directly or indirectly support good destination stewardship and the approach known as “geotourism.” Geotourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place, including its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. You can help Andaman Discoveries by commenting on our entry before May 20, and help innovators like Andaman Discoveries refine and improve ideas.

Entries can be openly discussed, commented on, and changed until judging begins on May 20. Comments from our friends and supporters will make a tremendous difference, as the judges take thoughts from the public into consideration. Also, entries can be listed and ranked by the number of comments received online.

So please visit to the Geotourism Challenge website and comment today! And please forward this email to a friend and help spread the word.

Thank you,
The Andaman Discoveries team

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I worked in Khuraburi in the year following the tsunami, and saw the genesis of Andaman Discoveries. I believe that of the fifty or so NGOs in the area at the time, none had more integrity and none was as in touch with the people as Andaman Discoveries, which was then known as North Andaman Tsunami Relief. Add to that the fact that they have adapted from disaster relief to become a prime mover in developing self-reliant and self-sustainable work for people in the area. Andaman Discoveries is a truly admirable force for good in the world.
It's good to see implementation starting to take root rather than just the theory of sustainable travel. Well done.

Reid Ridgway
Andaman Discovery deserves to be praised as a becon of Community Tourism done right! Many communities along the Andaman coast were destroyed by the 2004 tsunami. Andaman was there to offer tsunami relief. One example, Ban Talae Nok village lost 47 out of 200 villagers, and lost all their boats and livlihood. It was the villagers themselves who were interested in bringing the concept of community tourism to their village, and Andaman discoveries helped. During my village homestay at Ban Talae Nok I learned fishing techniques, made battik, peeled cashews, watched women's soap-making, replanted mangroves, learned about jelly-fish farming, played games with school children and shared meals with my host family. The biggest impact was to see these people who had lost so much, were the most open and friendly people and they had much, much more than just money coming in from small-based tourism... they had happiness, love and a sense of hope and recovery!

Joe Staiano
Seattle WA USA
We have ordered crafts and soaps from NATR, now Andaman Discoveries, and were thrilled with the products and process. We plan to visit and enjoy, as our friends did, very soon. We have found nothing like this so far in our travels...
This group offers worthwhile encounters that benefit locals and travelers in a sustainable way. Thai
hospitality, craftmanship, and awareness of fragile ecology and economy are kept in balance in this beautiful part of SE Asia. Mutual enthusiasm creates dynamic encounters.
I have been involved in eco-tourism since the mid-70s and find this set-up admirable.
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