มนตร์เสน่ห์ “เมืองเพชร” และ “ประจวบคีรีขันธ์” Enchanted by the Charm of Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan Provinces
Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces are well-known among the tourists for having a variety of tourist attractions, namely beautiful white sand beaches, national parks, ecotourism sites, historical attractions, recreational locations, and agricultural tourism sites under a royal project of the King Rama IX. Also, transportation routes connected to these locations make it a lot easier for the tourists to travel around the provinces.
Apart from being a seaside province, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan have entirely dissimilar ways of life, cultures, and traditions and; therefore, require different tourism development plans. The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) or DASTA has applied the community-based tourism (CBT Thailand) standards, which are based upon the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), to develop the places of interest of both provinces so as to promote a conservation of natural resources and environment along with encouraging communities to manage their own tourist attractions.
On one hand, Phetchaburi province is known for its diverse ecotourism; for example, there are mangrove forests and a learning center under a royal project open for the tourists. It is also famous for natural, cultural, and agricultural tourism plus a native ethnic group. On the other hand, Prachuap Khiri Khan is notable among Thai and foreign tourists for its beautiful Hua Hin beach and Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park which provide recreational activities for the visitors. The tourism development plans under DASTA aim to develop the areas to be consistent with the identities and contexts of a particular community.
Mr. Sujin Meepradit, director of operations for DASTA office 9, has mentioned that DASTA has arranged 4 travel routes to promote the creative tourism in these two provinces. The first route is a travel route in Phetchaburi province under a concept of “Phetchaburi: Enjoy the Sea and Charming Communities”. The second route is a travel route in Prachuap Khiri Khan province under a theme of “Amazing Prachuap Khiri Khan, Have Fun in the Communities”. The third one is a connecting route between the two provinces with a name of “Visit the Town, Touch the Waves, Be Amazed by Local Stories”.
Last but not least, the fourth route is a “friendly design” trip to Khao Yoi Temple which has been developed to serve all groups of tourists, regardless of their ages or genders. Senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and pregnant women can come to the temple and go up the elevator to the top of a mountain to pay respect to sacred images. This travel route is very popular among the tourists
Mr. Sujin Meepradit
These travel routes will connect the major tourist destinations with those in the communities as well as making it easier for the tourists to travel from Phetchaburi to Prachuap Khiri Khan or vice versa. Each travel route is packed with creative tourism activities for the tourists to get to know the two provinces better while having fun.
“After we have developed these places of interest to be ready for the return of the tourists, DASTA has discussed with tourism businesses in Phetchaburi to Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces and planed travel programs with them in order to propose to the tourists. The result has turned out unexpectedly positive as the tourists were very interested in our programs. They said that they have never joined this kind of community-based travel program before. For the tourists who have joined our programs, not only will they get to witness the beauty of nature up-close, they will also get to experience the local ways of life of the communities plus tasting famous dishes made from local ingredients”, said Mr. Sujin.