IGS Internships

Ecotourism

Phuket Island

The Project

Join a leading ecotourism company on the beautiful island of Phuket. Tours operate from Phuket Harbor (the island's major town) out to Phang-Nga Bay. Tourists can choose from an array of tours and activities and at the same time learn from the knowledgeable staff about the local marine ecology and the importance of conservation. The diving and snorkeling tours explore the unique aquatic environment, while canoeing trips enable guests to discover the extensive cave and lagoon systems that exist in the bay.

This ecotourism organization has a distinguished history in running a profitable business without exploiting the environment in which it operates. Founded in 1989, the company has emerged as a forerunner in publicizing conservation issues both on a local and national stage. The high regard they hold for environmental ethics has been rewarded with 5 national awards for ecotourism and sustainable development.

Interns will bring fresh ideas and skills for a mature but expanding business, as well as supporting members of staff in all facets for the company operations. This internship is a unique opportunity for anyone interested in ecotourism, business, conservation management, or any of the activities that this company offers. You will be constantly exposed to the daily operations of this business, and will be able to choose from a few different areas, such as research or journalism, where you can shine.

This placement stresses all aspects of eco-tourism. Interns will assist both in the office as well as in the field. Office work will include contributing marketing material to the company website. Online research is required to help build the database and reach prospective clients. Provide an overview to walk-ins and other cliental about the nature of the trips offered and an overview of the geography of the different locations visited. All phases of outfitting to include assignment of gear to clients; post-trip organization; de-Stalinization of boats; sanitizing snorkel and masks; re-organization of gear.

The placement will likewise include on-the-water training. Interns will work with company guides in client care. Further, identification of marine species will be taught on-site. Learn to identify threatened coral reef species including both soft and hard corals. Thailand reef fishes will also be an important aspect of your study. Observe and share with clients the foraging strategies of specific reef fishes and the reef environments that each inhabit.

Help to develop strategic business plans in an evolving market place, and/or carry out market research and publicity--an area that the company is keen to develop. There is also a journalism aspect in which you can join the company's research effort and publishing arm to develop literature on ecotourism, conservation, and the local marine life. Training the local staff is also an important duty--helping to improve their English skills and develop knowledge and understanding of ecology, especially coral and reef ecology. You will be involved in honing the staff's ability to pass this information on to the clients in a simple, but effective way. Interns should have a very clear idea of what they want to do within this incredibly diverse and busy company so that they can get the most out of the internship.

Location

Phuket Island, approximately 900km South of Bangkok on the west coast of the Indochina peninsular, is Thailand's largest island, and is a province unto itself.

Job Description

The successful intern will be a flexible and able to adapt to different daily tasks. The initial orientation period is designed to allow the intern to become familiar with the general daily operations and will lead to more responsibility as skills and confidence develops. This includes joining a web design team to assist in designing and maintain web sites for clients, as well as assisting in the production of a monthly magazine called 'Benjarong' which advertises businesses and services in Pattaya. In addition, you will assist designers with advertising literature for a number of local companies in the local tourist industry, such as canoeing and tour companies. Working for a small business, you will quickly learn about the administrative side of the company, as well as the sales and marketing aspects that are vital to any organization.

Interns must have energy and enthusiasm to learn as the workload can be heavy as you assist in all areas of the business. Interns receive some supervision and training from experts in all facets of web design, desktop publishing, and running a small business. For someone looking toward a career in web design or toward starting a business, this is an ideal experience.

Availability and Requirements

Position is available year round.
In your brief letter of intent on the IGS Application form, please be sure to indicate the source of your interest in this position, what you hope to contribute to the program indicated, and what you hope to learn or experience through your internship--this letter of intent will be distributed to internship providers. In addition, be sure to submit a resume or acceptable equivalent indicating any relevant knowledge or skills.

Accomodation

The single apartments are located about a five minute tuk-tuk ride from the internship site. These medium-sized clean rooms have a private bathroom with solar-heated water. Also provided in the room is a double bed and sheets, closet, dresser, fridge and air-conditioning. The complex itself has 18 rooms on 5 floors, with a manned reception desk downstairs. There are no cooking facilities in the room; however, the complex is within easy walking distance of many restaurants, cafes, and bakeries, and eating out is cheap in Thailand.

Minimum Length of Stay

4 weeks