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N-ACT

North Andaman Community Tourism Network, N-ACT, Thailand

North Andaman Community Tourism Network

The North Andaman Community Tourism (N-ACT) is a group of local people working to strengthen their communities along the Andaman Coast of Thailand and the environment. N-ACT serves as an evolving platform to increase the contribution of tourism to sustainable livelihoods and sound ecosystem management. With facilitation from NAN and Andaman Discoveries, N-ACT is providing communities with access to the best available knowledge and practices.

The network’s success is based on careful selection of ethical businesses and capable community partners with genuine potential for tourism development.
N-ACT helps facilitate:

  • Group and individual capacity building through trainings, study trips, product improvement, and learning tools
  • Stakeholder communication resulting in cooperation among communities, businesses, NGOs, and government
  • Promotional materials, marketing activities, and private sector outreach resulting in new customers
  • Strengthened connections between community tourism, conservation efforts, and poverty alleviation
  • Knowledge products to encourage replication of successful community tourism development methods

“It’s important for those in our tourism network to meet regularly to exchange ideas, support one another, and share information,” says Nattaya “Nat” Sektheera, N-ACT’s multi-talented coordinator.

Recognizing that communities must be able to market themselves, we have worked very hard to build marketing independent capacity within community tourism groups.  Since 2009 we have been engaged these local communities in the following training and support:

  • Designed promotional materials, sponsored printing, and provided transportation for 16 members of three tourism groups to the Ranong Travel Fair, where 800 brochures were distributed
  • Created a bilingual website that gave community groups a tool to market and promote
  • Secured a free booth and sponsored three tourism group members to attend the Thai International Travel Fair in Bangkok, and facilitated promotion of their community-based tourism activities and networking within the travel industry.
  • Designed “self-guided tour” pamphlets detailing nature trails and local culture for three villages. For example, at the request of Greenview Travel, we designed a walking tour of the Moken village at Surin Islands National Park with a self-guided tour, respectful behaviour guidelines, and income opportunities for Moken.
  • Provided English text and photos for a visitor information center at the region’s largest bus station in Kuraburi.