Thailand is looking to break yet another Guinness World Record. This time, the attempt is about staging a mass display of concern for Thailand’s marine environment. During the Ko Tao Festival 2016, which will be held from 18 to 19 June, 2016, at Hat Sai Ri, a total of 3,000 participants will attempt to form the longest chain of people holding hands around the island to break the record set in March this year by 2,211 people in Japan.
This year marks the 13th year of the Ko Tao Festival, which is an annual event staged by local authorities in cooperation with partners from the private and public agencies including the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). The event’s objective is to protect and preserve the pristine nature of Ko Tao and the surrounding sea while raising awareness of the importance of environmental preservation among the local community and tourists.
As well as the world record attempt, there will be other activities at the Festival to raise awareness of the environmental protection on Ko Tao. These include the releasing of turtles into the sea, the clearing of any rubbish or plastic from the beaches and water, and the nursing of giant clams. Tourists and visitors as well as volunteers, local and international, will be invited to join all of these activities.
There is also a ‘One Free Day’ whereas the locals will unite in offering food and drinks for free to visitors, a ‘One More Bike One Less Car’ that encourages everyone to take part in a bicycle ride around the island, a Mister and Miss Save Ko Tao Contest, a trash sculpture competition, as well as an exhibition featuring aerial and underwater images of Surat Thani.
Each year, more than 500,000 travellers visit Ko Tao, generating over three billion Baht in revenue for the local economy. The island’s pristine nature has been recognised by tourists around the world and the island was voted as the No.1 diving destination in Asia and is also in the Top-10 list of the world’s best diving sites in 2014. The island was also voted the top-most visited destination in the Asia-Pacific and was ranked 5th in the world by the TripAdvisor website in 2015.