Since May of this year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) online “Voluntourism” campaign called “The Little Big Project” (with the tagline: You’ll Be Amazed how LITTLE can make such a BIG difference) has witnessed an overwhelming response of 4,695 applicants from around the world.
Ten finalists were chosen to compete over the past 3 months and raise US$5,000 for their volunteering project during the course of a 2-week stay in Thailand. The winner of “The Little Big Project” initiative is Phuket’s Team, Richard Browsdon from UK and Vimalin Chalermporn from Thailand.
Throughout the fundraising competition all 5 teams (2 finalists per team) have shown their volunteering spirits with project development activities in 5 chosen areas in Phuket, Phangga, Chiang Rai, Petchaburi, and Prachuap Khiri Khan.
They have also shared their experiences via personalized blogs and online media, with the winner decided by having received the highest votes from these social media channels.
This has created global awareness and inspired huge numbers of travelers from around the world to examine the emerging volunteering-based tourism trend going on in Thailand with over 5 million viewers checking in on the project via social media.
TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, “The Little Big Project is the first online campaign in Asia to promote the new trend of “volunteering while travelling,” more commonly known as Voluntourism, which is a response to the new generation of travelers whose attitude is to make a difference and make the world a better place, starting with themselves.”
He announced proudly that, “The Little Big Project’s Thailand-based Voluntourism digital campaign won the inaugural Digital Innovation Asia Awards as the most influential initiative to highlight the growing industry trend of Voluntourism. The award was conferred by Digital Innovation Asia with the support of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, and we are glad to see that our efforts have been recognized.”