Bangkok, 24 October, 2018 – The Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT) continues to expand its responsible tourism initiatives as more private and public sector stakeholders join TAT to achieve common goals towards socially and environmentally responsible tourism.
This latest push comes after a high ranking TAT delegation, led by TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, visited the Andaman coastal region (Krabi and Phang Nga) over the weekend of 19 to 20 October. They organised a series of meetings with local delegations as well as inspections to various tourist attractions to get a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground.
Mr. Yuthasak also used the opportunity to introduce TAT’s responsible tourism policy to empower local communities.
“The meetings discuss ideas and information on tourism management for all local stakeholders. All parties are in consensus on the importance of environmental conservation and tourism and agree they must go together hand in hand to achieve common goals.
“TAT also heard the concerns voiced by local tourism operators about possible loss of business. This follows the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP)’s announcement to extend the closure of Maya Bay and to impose a daily quota system for tourists applying to enter the Similan Islands National Park,” Mr. Yuthasak, added.
The TAT delegation met with local officials from the DNP, representatives from the Krabi and Phang Nga Tourism Associations, and the local community from Mu Ko Phi Phi to discuss objectives. There was a candid exchange of ideas and information on tourism management from all stakeholders, who all agreed on the importance of working together to achieve socially and environmentally responsible tourism goals.
According to Mr. Yuthasak, TAT is now proactively promoting an abundant selection of other secluded islands, beautiful beaches and bays that Thailand’s Southern region is famous for. These include Hat Noppharat Thara–Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, Loh Samah Bay, Loh Pileh Bay, Wang Lang Bay, Nui Bay, Ling Bay, Laem Tom Bay, Ko Phai (Bamboo Island) and Khao Ngon Nak, to name just a few.
TAT’s responsible tourism policy is anchored by the recently announced ‘Travel Thailand in Style, Reduce Plastic Waste’ collaboration initiative to cut tourism-related waste by up to 50 per cent by 2020.
The on-going framework envisions TAT working hand in hand with strategic partners to launch continuous campaigns and initiatives for responsible tourism. The collaboration and follow-up initiatives are meant to encourage both tourists and businesses to address waste problems generated by the country‘s tourism sector in key travel destinations.
TAT is taking a lead role in providing support and recommendations on how to reduce waste and single-use plastics. It encourages the use of reusable or sustainable items. These include plant-based drinking straws instead of plastic straws; cotton bags instead of plastic bags; refillable water tumblers instead of plastic bottles; reusable food containers and utensils instead of single-use plastic or foam items.
*Photos of some other secluded islands, beautiful beaches and bays of Thailand’s Southern region