By The Nation
National Geographic Traveller UK’s invitation-only Earth Collection publication, which came out in the first week of August 2019, highlights “eco-friendly” hotels, including Anurak Community Lodge located in Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani province, southern Thailand, and Cardamom Tented Camp in Botum Sokor National Park, in Trapeang Rung, southwest Cambodia.
The two YAANA Ventures’ ecolodges are among 36 “eco-friendly” hotels around the world highlighted by the publication as leading examples of responsible tourism.
An invitation to be included in the Earth Collection was based on each property having won an environmental award. All properties also have to be leading advocates of sustainable tourism practices. The 68-page Earth Collection includes properties in 28 destinations from all the world’s continents.
Open in 2016, Anurak Community Lodge, won in the Environment category of the 2019 SKAL Asian Area Awards. Cardamom Tented Lodge, which opened in 2017, won the 2019 PATA Gold Award for the Environment in the Ecotourism category. The Cambodian ecolodge was also one of 15 global finalists in the World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
“Invitation to join the Nat Geo Traveller Earth Collection comes as an honour,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of the lodges’ operator and parent company, YAANA Ventures.
“It recognises the unique and caring relationships that Anurak Community Lodge and Cardamom Tented Camp have fostered with the natural environment and the communities around them,” he said in a release on Wednesday.
Located between Koh Samui and Phuket on the southern Thai peninsula, Anurak Lodge acts a secluded nature hideaway and activities base for the nearby Khao Sok National Park.
Guests engage in minimal-impact tourism activities such as hiking, river kayaking, cycling, rafting, jungle cooking and exploring nearby Chiew Larn lake. The lodge offers a range of 3-4 day packages for visitors. Anurak offers 20 eco-friendly rooms across 12 well-appointed bungalows and two safari-style tents.
In Cambodia, Cardamom Tented Camp has led by example to combat the illegal wildlife trade and boost natural habitat conservation within a 180-square-kilometre wildlife concession granted by the Cambodian government.
With its partners, Wildlife Alliance and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, the ecolodge delivers conservation tourism experiences to guests, trains local staff and supplies income and resources to 12 forest rangers protecting Botum Sakor’s forest and wildlife and inspiring the camp’s tagline, “Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing”.
“Hotels and resorts across the globe are trying to make a difference to the impact they have on the planet,” said Adam Fox, project manager at National Geographic Traveller UK. “Earth Collection is a unique platform to champion their contributions, innovative plans and certifications for being sustainably minded.”
The Earth Collection follows on from previous Nat Geo UK annual collections dedicated to spas and wellness, Africa, European cities and luxury.