Supporting Elephant Conservation and Reforestation.
This year’s World Elephant Day on 12 August marks the first anniversary of 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts Thailand’s CSR partnership with the Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in Chiang Mai. This long-term collaboration raises much-needed funds and global awareness for elephant conservation and reforestation in Thailand.
Since the start of the campaign in 2021, donations from guests staying at both 137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok and 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai, personal and online donations through the online spot fund donation platform total over THB 1 million (approx. USD43,388)
Elephant Nature Park is a rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary and was founded by Ms. Sangduen Chailert (Khun Lek) in 1996. Providing a safe place for over a hundred elephants from all over Thailand, the centre is also a natural environment for rescued dogs, cats, buffaloes and many other abandoned and abused animals. The hotel partnership came about when Anne Arrowsmith, General Manager of 137 Pillars House was asked to showcase some of the unique aspects of Chiang Mai for a Thailand segment on The Today Show; a popular US TV programme. Anne chose ENP because of its authentic ethos including their policy of non-riding of elephants. It turned out to be a deeply spiritual and meaningful experience as Anne spent the day interacting with many of the elephants and learning the needs, complexities and challenges faced by ENP during her interview of K. Lek for the programme.
In order to share this experience with hotel guests and to create a long-term partnership with the sanctuary to raise much-needed money to support the important work that Khun Lek and her team do on a daily basis, 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts offers guests at its hotels in Chiang Mai and Bangkok an option to donate to ENP on check-in with a nominal amount of THB 100 (USD 3.00), THB 300 (USD 9.00) or THB 700 (USD 20.00) per night, based on the name of the 137 Pillars brand. A larger one-off donation can also be made if preferred. 90% of donations go to elephant conservation and 10% to reforestation. ENP sends a receipt and certificate to each donor.
In celebration of this year’s World Elephant Day, during the month of August, THB 300 (USD9.00) will be donated from 137 Pillars properties in Bangkok (suites only) and Chiang Mai per guest stay. For those wanting to visit ENP, tour packages in Chiang Mai including round trip transportation can be arranged, starting from THB 3,500 (USD 100) per person, plus applicable service charge and government taxes.
“Although the pandemic has had a devastating impact on elephants and people alike, it has also caused many elephant camp owners to re-think the current unethical programs they offer for tourists,” Khun Lek shares regarding the future of Thai elephants. “My team and I work tirelessly to ensure that this will be a catalyst for positive change throughout the country. Many of the camps we have supported during the crisis through our elephant food bank campaign have now agreed to remove the saddles from the elephant's back and move towards a more caring approach with our support.”