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1000 gather in Phuket to join the global cry on climate change

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Asia’s largest travel and tourism sustainability event, opened in Phuket yesterday, as Southeast Asia’s hospitality industry came together in a spirit of collaboration to tackle the critical environmental issues facing resort destinations across the region.

A year on from the inaugural edition of PHIST, the event continues to grow. A record attendance of 1,000 delegates attended the full-day event, held Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa. PHIST is the brainchild of the Phuket Hotels Association, C9 Hotelworks and Greenview.

Dedicated to generating fresh ideas and fostering a spirit of cooperation, the action-packed forum included a series of expert panels and discussions covering a range of vital topics, including destination management, development, ocean health, over-tourism, hotel operations and community tourism. There was also a series of practical workshops for green champions, hotel developers and social enterprises and more, plus an exhibition area showcasing green solutions, allowing hoteliers to interact with eco-suppliers.

Speakers included local and international experts, including Raini Hamdi, Asia Editor, Skift; Sharry Sun, Global Head of Brand, Travelzoo; Jesper Palmqvist, STR’s Area Director for Asia Pacific; Ang Choo Pin, Expedia’s Senior Director of Government & Corporate Affairs; Guy Heywood, Chief Operating Officer, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas; and Franck Droin, Hotel Manager, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok.

1000 gather in Phuket to join the global cry on climate change | News by Thaiger

This year’s PHIST also celebrated the launch of the Great Big Green Hotel Guide, an important collaboration between the 74 members of the Phuket Hotels Association. Featuring real-life examples of environmental best practices and case studies, this guide serves as a practical user manual for hotels in resort destinations all across Asia. Download it HERE.

Ideas remain the biggest single challenge to the sustainability journey, and by sharing success stories, the Great Big Green Hotel Guide can help hotels take their first steps towards a greener tomorrow.

“PHIST is becoming one of the most important events on the tourism calendar. Climate change, plastic pollution, environmental degradation; these are issues that affect us all, and they are felt even more profoundly in island communities like Phuket,” said Anthony Lark, President of the Phuket Hotels Association.

“The only way to tackle these problems is through a collective approach; by working together we can make a difference.”

PHIST has already shown that it can make a real difference; at last year’s inaugural edition, more than Phuket Hotels Association’s 74 member hotels agreed to remove plastic water bottles from their properties. In the 12 months since this pledge was made, member hotels experienced a 51% reduction, which equates to over 4.4 million bottles not ending up in landfill sites, or worse, the ocean.

PHIST 2019 also aimed to inspire the next generation, with a series of children’s workshops and activities. The forum featured the final of Green Beat 60, a film-making contest that invited eco warriors of all ages to have their say on critical issues, won by Thai rappers Rattanachot Srikhongmuang and Kanthep Srikhongmuang for “Refill Not Landfill”.

1000 gather in Phuket to join the global cry on climate change | News by Thaiger

Youth and Activism in Tourism: (from left): Mr. Guy Heywood, Chief Operating Officer at Six Senses Hotels Resorts; Mr. Jesper Palmqvist Area Director for Asia Pacific STR with his daughter Miss Maylea Palmqvist; Mrs. Marissa Sukosol, Executive Vice President of Sukosol Hotels; Mr. Anthony Lark, President, Phuket Hotel Association and Co-Organiser of PHIST 2019; Mrs. Kanokrittika Kritwoottigon, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office; and Thai rappers and winners of the Green Beat 60 competition Mr. Rattanachot Srikhongmuang and Mr. Kanthep Srikhongmuang.

 

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