The project’s goal is to improve the local economic capacity of coastal mainland Surat Thani by growing its tourism industry, which is one of the best sectors for providing income and employment opportunities to local community members. While the southern Province’s coastal islands have long been popular tourism destinations, mainland Surat Thani has failed to attract visitors at the same rate, despite possessing rich natural and cultural resources.
To tackle this issue, Kenan and Chevron are focusing on building the capacity of local, community-based tourism operators, entrepreneurs, community members, and government officials to create a common vision for sustainable tourism on mainland Surat Thani. Specifically, the project will work with 10 community-based tourism (CBT) groups, developing their tourism assets and training them on marketing, pricing, and business management. Additionally, Kenan will create and lead forums to discuss community strategies for sustainable tourism engagement with a range of key stakeholders. In 2015, Kenan built the capacity of 80 CBT members from 6 communities on mainland Surat Thani.