TAT creates new strategy to promote Thailand as 'sustainable' destination
Thailand will be rebranded as a “sustainable” destination to attract better quality tourists as well as preserve local communities and the environment.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) devised this plan just as the industry is starting to recover, with up to 7.3 million arrivals so far this year.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn told the press on Friday that Thailand’s priority is not just to be a top destination but also a sustainable one.
He said TAT will launch three key strategies next year, namely greater change, a more affordable experience and collaborative networking.
“Greater change indicates that tourism-related businesses should be ready to transform operations in line with the bio-circular-green [BCG] economy model,” the TAT chief said. “That includes waste reduction, resource efficiency and carbon emission neutrality.”
The SHA Green stamp – Thailand’s standard for environmentally friendly practices and low emissions – will be given to hotels and businesses that genuinely strive to be sustainable, Yuthasak added.
TAT is also planning to launch a new awards system for companies that excel in sustainable tourism, he said, adding that offering tourists a “wonderful experience” will also inspire them to contribute to the local economy and environment.
Yuthasak also announced that TAT is collaborating with real-estate conglomerate Assets World Corporation (AWC) and leading hotel groups to promote Thailand as a top destination for eco-friendly travel.
“[With this partnership], we hope to set a real example of what sustainable tourism should be like and demonstrate how serious we are about keeping the nation’s engine industry – tourism – revved up,” he said.
Wallapa Traisorat, AWC’s CEO and president, said the group shares TAT’s sustainability goals and hotels like Marriott, Banyan Tree, Okura, Hilton, IHG and Melia are also joining in.
“AWC is working with other partners from different industries and global hotel chains to bring all properties up to TAT’s ‘SHA’ standards to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality and zero waste by 2030,” Wallapa said.
Yuthasak, meanwhile, said TAT will propose that the Cabinet extend the “We Travel Together” co-payment travel scheme for a fifth time to cover the New Year holidays.
“If extended, the fifth phase will provide funding for 2 million rooms totalling about 7.2 billion baht,” the TAT chief said.
TAT expects 10 million people to travel around the country this year, and double the number next year with about 40 per cent being locals.