While mass tourism will never be environmentally friendly, it can be educational. That is why it is encouraging to see that the number of Thai visitors to national parks over the New Year holiday season was double that of the same period last year. It is no secret that the best way to create environmental awareness is for people to spend time in places of great natural beauty and the prime destinations of Khao Yai, the Erawan Falls and Doi Inthanon showcase the best the country has to offer.
Many will treasure the experience and develop a lifelong commitment to protecting the environment. They will no longer be quite so susceptible to the eco-friendly buzzwords deceptively spouted by politicians and state and industrial polluters.
Whether from deforestation, climate change or excessive exploitation of resources, the environment is coming under severe threat because of irresponsible human activity. Those who have had a first-hand look for themselves will have seen instances of the environment being sacrificed to greed and selfishness. Apart from tree-felling, these include illegal building and random poaching of wildlife.