INCREASING population and tourism at an exotic island retreat has led its mayor to call in a well-respected Shoreham firm.
Ricardo AEA will work with Thai island Koh Samui to help deliver an environmentally-sustainable future for the destination.
The work will see the organisation develop four key ‘roadmaps’ for the island to develop – energy, transportation, waste and water supply.
Practice director for resource efficiency and waste management Dr Adam Read said: “The rapid growth of Thailand’s tourism industry is extremely beneficial to the country’s economy, but in the past has had negative effects on the natural and built environment.
“The far-sighted approach outlined signals a shift in tourism development in Thailand, sending the message that growth can be coupled with environmental sustainability, and that sustainable tourism is the wave of the future here in Koh Samui.”
The areas of focus provide Koh Samui City Council with priorities and a timescale for the work.
Some infrastructure improvements are expected to be realised within two years.
Mayor of Koh Samui Ramnate Chaikwang said: “We recognise the importance of clean energy, sustainable transportation, waste management, and water efficiency to our island and our economy.
“As such, we are embarking on this infrastructure research and development programme to fully support the expansion of both local communities and tourism on Koh Samui.”
He added: “We also expect to be able to assist other key locations around Thailand once our work is complete, helping to show them the way forward.”