Green tourism is set to dominate the next half century according to officials from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Addressing the World Green Tourism Conference in Abu Dhabi earlier TAT governor Suraphon Svetasreni spelled out how this world leading destination would seek to reconfigure its offering in order to meet changing demands.
“We recognise there is no other option but to work towards a green standard, as this is what the modern consumer and well-informed world traveller wants,” he explained.
Noting “green is the new norm”, Svetasreni said promoting a healthy respect for the environment and the careful management and utilisation of limited resources was essential if Thailand was to ensure a bright and promising future for its people.
This new focus on ecological concerns would be a radical change Svetasreni added.
“In its first 50 years, the focus of Thai tourism development was on social and economic development. The next 50 years will require a vital shift in focus to minimize the ecological impact of tourism.”
TAT said tourism played an increasingly significant role in Thailand’s national economic and social development.
Today, over 14 million foreign tourists contribute almost US$15 billion (RM46 billion) to the Thai economy, while domestic travel contributes an additional US$12 billion (RM37 billion).
In total, tourism accounts for ten per cent of Thailand’s total GDP and contributes to a wider distribution of income.
Tourism plays an increasingly significant role in Thailand’s national economic and social development.
In closing his speech Svetasreni added: “We recognise all sectors of Thai society need to work together towards a cleaner-and-greener Thailand.
“We have a long road ahead of us.
“However, by participating in forums that promote the active exchange of knowledge and know-how we will shorten our learning curve and significantly reduce the time it takes to acquire the essential knowledge needed to impact and influence positive change at home.”
World Sport Destination Expo
In other news, Thailand has been celebrating recently following the announcement World Sport Destination Expo would be hosted in Bangkok in 2011.
The international event – which earlier this year visited Johannesburg – will take place from September 29th, offering visitors the only global exhibition and business forum dedicated to showcasing the full spectrum of sport tourism.