By Sirivish Toomgum
All members of the Phuket Hotels Association have jointly committed to eliminate plastic water bottles and drinking straws from rooms by 2019 as part of an effort to ensure a sustainable future for Phuket, said association president Anthony Lark.
The association has also provided information to its hotel members about companies that provide alternatives to plastics for food storage, waste bags and guest amenities. Anthony says the association aims to ensure a sustainable short-term and long-term tourism environment in Phuket by encouraging its member hotels to take action and adopt sustainable, nonplastic solutions amenities and services to their guests.
“We’ve tracked the single use plastic in place at our hotels and provided the hotel owners and management with costeffective solutions to switch from plastics to sustainable alternatives. We’ve worked closely with the government and support the efforts of Thai schools and colleges to slowly but surely make changes. We will also be recognising those hotels that make the most progress,” he added.
Lark said that the growing numbers of tourists on the island actually helps make the alternatives more economically viable. For instance, the change from using plastic water bottles to reusable glass actually saves the hotels money and this has been demonstrated at many of members’ hotels that have already made the switch. Phuket Hotels Association recently announced a new annual international forum called PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism), which will hold its first event on the island in September to support the region’s hospitality industry in its fight for a sustainable future.
The PHIST Forum 2018 will take place on September 24 at the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa and is coorganised by C9 Hotelworks and Greenview, respected consultants to the regional hospitality industry. The innovative ecofocused event will bring together some of Southeast Asia’s key tourism and hospitality stakeholders – particularly those operating in island destinations – to explore solutions to the region’s most pressing environmental issues.
“Island tourism in Southeast Asia is at a critical juncture; we simply cannot continue overlooking the impacts,” said Eric Ricaurte, founder and CEO of Greenview in an association media release trumpeting the event.
“Risks are real and sustainability must be the driving force behind future growth. But how do we change and adapt to the challenges we face, then catalyse solutions across the region? Education is the key and PHIST will create a forum for positive action.”
The PHIST program will feature a series of expert panels, themed talks, technical workshops and roundtable discussions covering topics such as sustainable operations, destination development, and overtourism. The event is expecting 500 delegates from around the Asia region. All the sessions will be free to attend.
Working together is essential for the industry’s longterm survival, said Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks.
“Environmental destruction is a crisis without borders and the hospitality industry needs to collaborate, find answers, and come up with a regional action plan,” he said.
“We can literally use PHIST to fight for our sustainable survival.”
In line with the organisation’s solutions-oriented approach, the Phuket Hotels Association will use PHIST 2018 as an opportunity to showcase its “People. Planet. Phuket” campaign, which aims to educate local island communities and visitors about the importance of the Three Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The campaign brings together over 70 member hotels in an education initiative targeting Phuket’s schools, designed to promote environmental protection and support.
The community-based program uses specially created anime characters, including “The Phist”, a school teacher-turned-superhero who fights and defeats polluting enemies like plastic straws, plastic bottles and oil waste in the ocean. PHIST is supported by major tourism organisations, including the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thailand Convention and Events Bureau (TCEB), and the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and AustralianThai Chamber of Commerce (AUSTCHAM). Phuket Governor Norrapat Plodthong will open the event.
Anthony added that one of the Phuket Hotels Association’s most important tasks is to create a forum for the hotel members to gain access to information on ways to reduce their use of plastics.
“This is, of course, a global issue and we all decided that we wanted Phuket to take the initiative to address these issues with education and actionable strategies that really make a difference. Every tropical island faces the same issues as Phuket and now is the time to start a serious effort to address this in Southeast Asia,” said Anthony.
“When the other destinations see the efforts we make to bring together the community, we hope it will raise awareness throughout the region. The PHIST event has a strong regional message and we have already received a lot of interest from islands throughout the Asean bloc interested in the discussion and working towards real actionable solutions and instilling best sustainable practices.
“And yes, every small step we all take makes a difference for Phuket and benefits all those who visit our beautiful Island.”
Association president Anthony Lark, Phuket Hotels Association
STORY: The Nation
‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people
On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.
From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.
The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.
One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.
There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.
This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.
This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.
The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations
PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com
In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.
But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.
Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.
In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.
The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.
By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.
Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.
You can read the full list HERE.
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works
The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.
The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.
The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.
Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.
As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.
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