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Phuket’s tourism spotlight turns green – Asia’s biggest sustainable tourism event

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s tourism spotlight turns green – Asia’s biggest sustainable tourism event | The Thaiger

The Phuket Hotels Association has announced a new annual international forum called PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism), which will be held on the island for the first time this September to support the region’s hospitality industry in its fight for a sustainable future.

The PHIST Forum 2018 will take place on Monday, September 24 2018 at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa and is co-organised by C9 Hotelworks and Greenview, respected consultants to the regional hospitality industry.

The innovative eco-focused event will bring together Southeast Asia’s key tourism and hospitality stakeholders ­– particularly those operating in island destinations ­– to explore solutions to Southeast Asia’s most pressing environmental issues.

Phuket's tourism spotlight turns green - Asia's biggest sustainable tourism event | News by The ThaigerNeil Jacobs, CEO, Six Senses Resorts Spas

“Island tourism in Southeast Asia is at a critical juncture; we simply cannot continue overlooking the impacts. 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 catalyze solutions across the region? Education is the key and PHIST will create a forum for positive action,” commented Eric Ricaurte, Founder & CEO of Greenview.

PHIST forum is of particular relevance to hotels in tourist island hotspots such Phuket, Bali, Boracay and Koh Samui, as well as up-and-coming destinations like Phu Quoc. The program will feature a series of expert panels, themed talks, technical workshops and roundtable discussions covering topics such as sustainable operations, destination development, ocean health, corporate sustainability, community tourism, and effective responses to over-tourism.

The event is expecting 500 attendees from around the Asia region, raising awareness and driving change within the industry. Due to the importance of the topics, all the sessions will be free to attend.

“Environmental destruction is a crisis without borders and the hospitality industry needs to collaborate, find answers, and come up with a regional action plan,” said Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks.

“We can literally use PHIST to fight for our sustainable survival,” he added.

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 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.

“Sustainability is the most vital issue facing the tourism and hospitality industries across Southeast Asia in the 21st Century. Action must be taken now to ensure the future viability of destinations in this beautiful region. Through PHIST, we aim to provide hoteliers and stakeholders with the knowledge and tools they need to face the challenges,” said Anthony Lark, President of Phuket Hotels Association.”

Several major hotel groups have already signed up for PHIST, including Anantara, IHG, Hyatt and Marriott International. Other global organisations in attendance will include the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the World Bank, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The forum will also include a Green Suppliers’ Exhibition.

Phuket's tourism spotlight turns green - Asia's biggest sustainable tourism event | News by The Thaiger

To learn more about PHIST, please visit HERE.

To register for this important event, please register your details HERE.

or email HERE.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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Phuket

Phuket seastead will be removed today

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket seastead will be removed today | The Thaiger

The Third Naval Area Command will remove the seastead stationed off Phuket south-east coast today, belonging to an American bitcoin investor and seasteading innovators Ocean Builders.

Thai authorities plan to seize the structure as evidence in a criminal case. They fear the structure will continue to be a navigation hazard if left there.

US national Chad Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend, Supranee Thepdet (aka Nadia Summergirl), are facing charges of threatening the Kingdom’s sovereignty. Last Sunday officials from the Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Maritime boarded the structure saying it violated Article 119 of the Criminal Code and also posed a navigational hazard.

The couple launched the ‘Ocean Builders’ seastead on February 2 off the coast of Phuket. The structure is located to the southeast of Koh Racha Yai, approximately 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometres) from the mainland.

Elwartowski has claimed that his seastead is outside Thailand’s territorial waters, but Thai authorities insist that it violates Article 119 and challenges Thailand’s territorial rights.

“The Royal Thai Navy has full authority and duty to protect national interest and marine sovereignty in the area,” according to a Navy spokesperson.

Regarding the couple’s claim that they feared for their lives, Vice Admiral Sitthiporn Maskasem, commander of the Third Naval Area, said that authorities had followed the legal procedures.

“We are neither hunting them down nor threatening them,” said the commander.

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North East

Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy

The Thaiger

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Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | The Thaiger

Thailand suffers calamities at both ends of the annual weather spectrum – both drought and flood. But as the demands on agriculture grow, with a growing population and the rise of tourists and development, the effects of these two extremes are becoming more apparent.

Which leads us to this year’s outlook of lower rains which is exposing the poor management of the Kingdom’s water resources. Greater development and growing population bases hasn’t been met with more or larger water catchments.

So Thai farmers are expected to face a tough 2019 as forecasters say the drought will be more acute than usual, lowering the water levels in reservoirs in the central and northeastern provinces especially.

Int eh south, Phuket, Thailand’s largest island and surrounded by water, has an acute water shortage as of Songkran and, without adequate monsoonal rain between now and November, will be facing a water crisis if it has to rely on its own island resources.

The Director General of Department of Agricultural Extension Samran Saraban says the drought this year is exacerbated by El-Nino weather cycle which causes temperature to rise 1-2 degrees higher than normal and cause the water levels in major reservoirs to drop to worrisome level. Higher temperatures mean more evaporation and more usage of reserves.

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for farmers not to grow off-season rice as drought is predicted to spread into northeastern and eastern regions. That there will likely be a new administration coping with political instability will not help leaders focus on the country’s looming water shortage.

The long dry season will lower certain farm outputs, pushing up their prices. However, an overall farm income is set to decline because the drought will leave other negative affects to farmers who are also the consumers as well. This will affect the purchasing power of farm households, which account for one-third of Thais.

Etc, etc, etc.

Economists estimated the damage from the drought on the economy this year could be high. Kasikorn Research Center estimate the drought could cost at least 15.3 billion baht. Whilst Anusorn Tamajai, Dean of Economics Faculty, Rangsit University, estimates the drought to cost even more – 20-30 billion baht -because it would affect the outputs of off-season rice, sugarcane and tapioca.

“It will dampen the purchasing power of farmers in the second quarter.”

Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence chief Yanyong Thaicharoen said that the lackluster farm income can slash the growth rate of domestic consumption this year to 3.5% versus 4.6% growth last year, in addition to other factors, namely, high household debt and slower demand for durable goods.

Spending power from farmers, according to SCB, is crucial to sustain the growth of the economy. However, the grassroots economy is bracing for negative outlook this year.

There will be intense pressure on this season’s management of Thailand’s valuable water resources, through the remaining hot season and as the catchments gather water during the monsoon.

Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger | Wikipedia

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People

Patong’s trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal

The Thaiger

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Patong’s trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police / Theeraphong Penmit / Newshawk Phuket

A Phuket boy has been rewarded after setting an excellent example for the rest of the Patong community.

8 year old Kosin Ta-ngam, who is studying at Sai Nam Yen School in Patong in Pratom Suksa Three, has been collecting garbage in the filthy Pak Bang Canal and along Patong Beach since the beginning of this year.

He lives with his grandmother and other relatives. His grandmother has been looking after Kosin since he was 10 months old.

A certificate, scholarship and life vest have been awarded to Kosin by the Patong Police Chief Col Anothai Jindamanee for displaying excellent citizen for the community as a youth volunteer and being an active part of keeping the city clean.

The Pak Bang Canal, running through the back of Patong into Patong Bay, has been a dark, dirty mess for decades. Many promises have been made to clean it up but it remains a disgraceful waterway flowing through Phuket’s main tourist town.

The tiny eight year old seems to be able to achieve a lot more than the local municipality with all their money and machinery.

Kosin, you are the Thaiger hero for today and we salute you!

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

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