Ecolodge staff undergo hospitality training for love of environment

A Bangkok university this week delivered a series of hospitality workshops to staff of an ecotourism outfit at Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand.

Over two days, Assumption University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management trained 22 employees of the eco-friendly Aurak Community Lodge, comprising front office personnel, housekeepers, waiters and back of house staff, all from local villages.

Workshop attendees

The training was led by project coordinator Scott Smith from the university and sponsored by Bangkok-based Yaana Ventures.

Ahead of the workshop, Smith prepared a service audit and worked with management and staff to develop a training programme to meet the needs of the lodge, whose guests are mostly from Europe, the US and Singapore. These visitors typically want informed, zero-impact nature activities such as forest hiking and kayaking in the park.

Willem Niemeijer, founder of Yaana Ventures, commented: “Khao Sok boasts some of Thailand’s most stunning scenery and is home to incredible biodiversity. We therefore share the responsibility to ensure tourism is developed in a sustainable way, showing that it can make a positive contribution to conservation that involves and benefits the local community.”

Anurak means “to conserve” in Thai language. Accordingly, Anurak Lodge operates as an eco-friendly retreat with 18 comfortable bungalow-style rooms. The lodge serves as a jump off point for tours and activities in Khao Sok National Park and to the nearby Cheow Lan Lake.

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