Through the support of STA Travel, a new Community Resource and Tourism Training Centre has been created on the island of Koh Phra Thong, in Southern Thailand. STA Travel and its staff raised $80,000. which allowed for the refurbishement of existing buildings to be transformed into the Centre. It has become the heart of the village, where community activities, trainings and gatherings are held. The Centre includes a museum that features the diversity of flora and fauna on the island, a shop which sells tie dye products created by community members, an educational play area for young children and a space that highlights the activities available on the island for visitors.
This centre will provide an opportunity for people to increase their income and foster sustainable tourism growth in the region.
Other activities held at the Centre:
Koh Phra Thong was one of the worst affected areas during the aftermath of the 2004 Asian Tsunami, also known as the Christmas Tsunami. Many people lost their families, homes and livelihoods. While a village had been built to replace the one lost in the tsunami, and many of the houses were occupied by those who had come to make a new life, something was missing. With no restaurants, markets, or other social venues, Ban Lion lacked a place for community members to come together – to share, to learn, and to enjoy. The Centre is helping community members create opportunities, friendship, and, most importantly, hope.