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Tourism stakeholders commit to plastic-free future at PHIST

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Tourism stakeholders commit to plastic-free future at PHIST | The Thaiger

PHIST – Phuket Hotels for Island Sustaining Tourism Forum 2018

Leading hotels and tourism groups have signed the “Phuket Pledge” at Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism Forum 2018 (PHIST) establishing a model for the future development of islands throughout Asia that embraces sustainability as a core and sets urgent goals for long-term change.

The Phuket Pledge is a commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling single-use plastic in Phuket with the aim to eradicate it in all hotels and resorts. In addition, the stake-holders vowed to undertake a youth community education program to ensure grassroots awareness of the critical problems surrounding plastic usage on the island.

Bernhard Bohnenberger, President, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas;  Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, Vice President & Environmental Chair — Thai Hotels Association and Executive Vice President — Sukosol Hotels; Wilaiporn Pitimanaaree, Senior Vice President, Central Pattana Public Company; Anthony Lark, President, Phuket Hotels Association and Managing Director, Trisara.

Tourism stakeholders commit to plastic-free future at PHIST | News by The Thaiger

“Plastic reduction has been at the core of our company sustainability efforts for over a decade,” said Six Senses Hotels Resorts and Spas President Bernhard Bohnenberger.

“The industry is finally waking up to this issue, but we need coordination and action to make tangible change and see results. This is what we hope PHIST will go a long way to achieving.”

Supported by the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, PHIST is the largest hospitality event dedicated to sustainability in Asia, where over 550 delegates from countries including Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong gathered at the JW Marriott Mai Khao in Phuket to debate key issues.

A Green Groove area added an extra dynamic to the event as regional suppliers headlined an innovative exhibition of Asia’s cutting edge producers and inventors of sustainable products for the hospitality and tourism industries.

Tourism stakeholders commit to plastic-free future at PHIST | News by The Thaiger Tourism stakeholders commit to plastic-free future at PHIST | News by The Thaiger

Environmental and sustainability storylines have been global press leads for the past six months, many of which have focused on islands in Asia. Earlier in the year, Thailand’s booming industry made a stand with the closure of iconic tourism attractions such as Maya Bay in Phi Phi Island and the closure of Boracay in the Philippines. Both were shut to allow for environmental regeneration.

With the 10 Bali’s campaign in Indonesia – an island focused tourism strategy that looks to leverage the expansive archipelago – and the emerging marine tourism industries in Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia – the issues of sustainable tourism in Asia’s islands has shot to the top of the regional agenda.

“We need to fight for Phuket. It is as simple as that. And we can’t do it alone. We need to do it together,” said Phuket Hotel Association President and Managing Director of Trisara, Anthony Lark.

“We have worked to build an inclusive coalition of public and private sector tourism groups who understand the critical need to act and think long term. We hope the Phuket Pledge will be a start and ultimately become a model for us and other islands regionally to come together for the sake of sustainable island tourism in Asia.”

Tourism stakeholders commit to plastic-free future at PHIST | News by The Thaiger

PHIST was opened by the Deputy Governor of Phuket, Khun Prakob Wongmaneerung, and featured experts in their respective fields, focusing on marine and coastal tourism, sustainability, youth education and community tourism. These included Thai Hotels Association Vice President & Environmental Chairperson Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, Central Pattana Senior Vice President Wilaiporn Pitimanaaree, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau Senior Manager Pat Satkhum, Tajara Leisure & Hospitality Group CEO Cyndy Tan Jarabata from the Philippines and Horwath HTL Indonesia Matt Gebbie.

PHIST was co-organised by Phuket Hotels Association, C9 Hotelworks led by Managing Director Bill Barnett and Greenview CEO Eric Ricaurte. Sponsorship and endorsement is from the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Thai Hotel Association, Central Phuket, BMW, Blue Tree Phuket, C9 Hotelworks, Greenview, AmCham, QUO and Delivering Asia Communications.

PHIST – Interview with David Barrett, Events Co-ordinator with The Slate, Phuket

Posted by The Thaiger on Monday, September 24, 2018

PHIST – Interview with Eric Ricaurte – Founder and CEO Greenview

Posted by The Thaiger on Monday, September 24, 2018



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Thai exports fall 5.7 percent in January, year-on-year

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Thai exports fall 5.7 percent in January, year-on-year | The Thaiger

Thai export results have dipped for the third straight month, falling more than 5.65% compared to a year earlier. The fall was a lot bigger than expected, according to the Thai commerce ministry.

Shipments contracted 1.72% in December, compared to a year earlier as well.

January’s export drop was due to falling shipments of rice, gold, electronics and cars, according to the ministry. Digging into the numbers, exports to the US rose 8.3% in the first month of the year, compared to January 2018, but exports to China slumped 16.7%.

The strong Thai baht, Asia’s best performing currency this year, has increasingly hit exports, particularly rice orders.

Checking imports for the same period, and the numbers jumped surprisingly 13.99% year on year, after sliding 8.15% in December 2018. Analysts say the surge in imports was partly due to imports of arms and military weapons.

There was a trade deficit of $4.03 billion in January, compared with a forecast surplus of $320 million surplus. December 2018 had a $1.06 billion surplus.

But the ministry says they are still forecasting export growth of 8% for 2019 after a 6.7% increase last year.

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Strong baht a concern for Thai hotel sector

Bill Barnett

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Strong baht a concern for Thai hotel sector | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett

Thailand’s baht performance against Asian currencies in 2018, was unmatched, with the exception of the Japanese yen.

Commenting on the trend financial news Bloomberg have highlighted that in 2019, a further 4% in growth this year have it sitting at the top of the table.

Oddly, one of the underlying factors stimulating the baht’s appreciation is the recovery in tourism arrivals which has a double-digit impact on the country’s GDP.

While the elections remain a wild card on forward expectations, the reality is that the currency has not been hit like the Chinese yuan, which has been disrupted by a threatened U.S. China trade war and slowdown in its economy.

Despite higher than expected tourism numbers in 2018, hotel owners are cautiously optimistic on the prospects for the year.

In reality, despite rising prices for visitors, the economic climate is leading many property developers turning to hospitality assets as the real estate market remains volatile. The general view is that sustainable cash flow as part of their business mix is good and that tourism fundamentals remain strong.

Still, looking at nearby competitors such as Vietnam, which is rapidly growing from a cub into a tourism tiger, the issue of affordability is concerning. Currency swings remain a real and present factor in demand, so expect hoteliers to keep watching currency levels closely in 2019.

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Business

Thailand’s sponsorship market grew 19% – 2018

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Thailand’s sponsorship market grew 19% – 2018 | The Thaiger

ASN (Asia Sponsorship News) has just released its Sponsorship Market Overview for Thailand 2018. Local agencies have had their say on the performance of the Southeast Asian sponsorship marketplace.

2018 was a robust year for Thailand’s Sponsorship market, growing 19% year-on-year to US$223.4 million (2017’s total investment was US$188.2 million) and making grounds on reaching its previous (outlier) market peak of US$247.8 million in 2015. Since 2015, the market had been creeping backwards to a recent low of US$187.2 million.

General market health -in GDP terms – for Thailand was generally positive. In November last year, the country forecast a slightly reduced GDP forecast in the mid-4% range for itself for the year.

Back to the Sponsorship market and the leading spending brands are as follows; the Top 10 includes the usual major players, but also some newcomers since ASN last analysed the market in 2016…

2018 (US$)
Toyota  11,749,000
Chang  10,347,050
PTT Petroleum  7,372,000
Singha  6,935,525
PTT Group  5,573,000
Tourism Authority of Thailand  5,532,000
Thai Beverage Plc  5,173,050
Adidas  5,075,000
Pepsi  5,065,000
Carabao  4,389,000

These 10 brands contributed almost 30% of the total investment in this Southeast Asian market.

In terms of the movers and shakers within the Top 10, versus 2016…

  • Toyota was 4th spending US$6.8 million
  • Chang was 1st with US$14.4 million
  • AIA was 2nd, Its dramatic fall caused by the cessation of its Thai Umbrella Football Club partnership, with the FAT, in 2017
  • Carabao and Adidas are newcomers for 2018

Then there are the broader market dynamics that moved the needle – across the various ways to slice ASN’s market data:

  • Platforms: Motorsports and Multi-sports outperformed (+98% and +103% respectively); while platform leaders Football (US$90 million in 2018) and Athletics (US$32 million) gained a healthy 23% and 15% respectively
  • Categories: Two of the Top 10 categories – Petrochemicals and Conglomerates – dipped into their budgets significantly in 2018 (+119% and +590% (!) respectively)
  • Genres*: Unsurprisingly, Content was the biggest mover with a 114% uplift. Events, the perennial Genre leader, gained 33% as well

Commenting on the market movements is eponymous Founder of Paul Poole (South East Asia) Company,  a marketing consultancy specialising in commercial sponsorship in Thailand says, “The 19% year-on-year increase in Sponsorship spending in 2018 is testament to a strong industry.”

“To see big brands and organisations such as AIA, King Power, Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), Honda and Siam Cement Group falling off the list is somewhat of a surprise given their visibility in the marketplace and their sponsorship history.”

“However, it is refreshing to see new additions to the list such as Adidas. It speaks of a dynamic and ever-changing market.”

“Sponsorships have the potential to reach beyond short-term sales to build a brand’s identity. Brand strength contributes 60 to 80% to overall sales, making this benefit critical for sustained, long-term sales growth.”

Poole is convinced consistency is key to building brand awareness and companies like Toyota and Adidas are good examples of companies pushing through content on all platforms, especially social media.

Since brand ambassadors are now typically anyone sharing content – especially online via video content – brands are getting leverage from the increasing use of social media platforms across the world. And Thailand is one of the most gluttonous consumers of online content!

So the Thai market is in good health: let’s see if 2019 can sustain the growth.

To read more of the report click HERE.

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