Phuket, 28 January, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) today officially expanded the ‘SAVE the Ocean & SAVE for your dive’ campaign to the iconic southern island paradise of Phuket, offering divers the chance to earn discounts on dive trips, accommodation, and restaurants, in return for helping to protect Thailand’s marine ecosystem. The initiative follows on the success of the ‘Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand’ project in Ko Samet and the Eastern Seaboard.
The opening ceremony of the ‘Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand in Phuket’ was held at the world’s famous Patong Beach. H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat (above picture, centre), Minister of Tourism and Sports, presided over the ceremony, and joined hands with distinguished guests, celebrities and volunteers to clean the coastline of the Andaman Sea along Patong, Nai Harn, and Nai Yang Beaches.
As Thailand’s largest island, Phuket boasts verdant jungle that rolls on to hundreds of kilometres of coastline with a large number of dive sites making it the perfect next stop for ‘Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand’.
Under the ‘SAVE the Ocean & SAVE for your dive’ campaign, participating operators and dive sites are located all across the resort destination of Phuket, ‘Pearl of the Andaman Sea’.
Interested divers are encouraged to take part by following just three easy steps: First, they need to inform a participating dive operator that they would like to join the project. The dive operator will then give them a special rubbish collection bag. Second, divers collect rubbish while enjoying their dive, and return the bag to receive a stamp on their ‘Diving Passport’. Third, they can use the stamp to redeem special discounts on their next dive trip with a participating dive operator.
During their dive, participating divers are encouraged to practice their buoyancy control while also being careful to maintain the fragile ecosystem they are helping to protect; for example, when removing fishing nets from coral, it is best to use scissors to carefully trim the net and not pull it in such a way that will cause the coral to break.
The ‘SAVE the Ocean & SAVE for your dive’ campaign is part of ‘Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand’. a project that is a collaboration between TAT, PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) and the Ecoalf Foundation, which aims to not only transform plastic debris found in the ocean into thread to make fabric, but also to preserve the Kingdom’s crystal clear sea and unspoiled coastal areas.
Later in 2018, the project will be expanded further to Ko Tao in the Gulf of Thailand.
For more information, and for a list of participating dive operators, visit www.utodive.com.