Bangkok has been held as a success story in Southeast Asia for becoming a top-ranked tourism destination with solid ideas for sustainable growth in this area.
Bangkok aside, other regional destinations trying to achieve sustainable tourism may have to give up current revenues and limit capacity.
The challenge for some of these Asian destinations now is how existing unsustainable operations and activities can be reversed, or how existing facilities and infrastructure can be expanded or refurbished to ensure their long-term sustainability.
At a Hanoi summit in January 2009, the heads of the Asean Tourism Association and the Asean Competitiveness Enhancement Project agreed that there is a need “to develop a new, more effective marketing strategy which promotes Southeast Asia as a single destination”.
Promoting Southeast Asia as a single destination will help ensure that no single city, attraction or small island will be too heavily impacted or go beyond its “carrying capacity”.
The responsibility will then be a shared one for these Southeast Asian nations working towards sustainability in the region.
Osman VP Mohamed
The Straits Times/ANN