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Thursday, February 29, 2024

APOLA Ushers in New Era of Eco-Friendly Tourism

ASIA PACIFIC OUTDOOR LODGING ASSOCIATION (APOLA) - logoIn a groundbreaking move for the tourism industry, the Asia Pacific Outdoor Lodging Association (APOLA) debuted at the Thailand Tourism Forum 2024. This pivotal moment, witnessed by over 1,100 delegates at the Intercontinental Bangkok, marked a new chapter in outdoor accommodation trends across Asia-Pacific.

APOLA, the brainchild of industry visionaries Robert Hecker, Bill Barnett, and Paul Dean, first emerged at the PHIST conference in Phuket. Their collective dream became a reality in Bangkok on January 15th, 2024, with the association’s official launch.

At its core, APOLA is more than just an association; it is an advocacy powerhouse aimed at reshaping the outdoor lodging sector. The founders’ vision is clear: to create a structure that caters to the needs of operators, owners, government bodies, suppliers, investors, and tour operators. APOLA’s mission is ambitious yet vital – to guide, promote, and structure this burgeoning sector in a way that benefits all stakeholders.

The driving force behind APOLA’s inception is the industry’s recent exponential growth and the market’s robust fundamentals. Recognizing this, the association is set to define regional standards, increase awareness, influence policy-making, and introduce an innovative accounting system for project financing. This approach underpins APOLA’s commitment to promoting a low-impact, sustainable hospitality model, a timely response to the global call for environmental responsibility.

Based in Singapore as a non-profit Society, APOLA is ready to welcome members from across the industry in the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. Louis Thompson of Nomadic Resorts takes the helm as the inaugural president, a testament to his expertise and commitment to the cause.

Robert Hecker, one of APOLA’s co-founders, encapsulates the association’s ethos in his statement: “APOLA stands as a testament to a shared vision for a thriving outdoor lodging sector in the Asia Pacific Region. We recognize the immense potential of this niche in the Asia-Pacific, and our commitment to its proper development is reflected in APOLA’s establishment. APOLA aims to not only set standards but to champion sustainable practices, guide policies, and foster collaboration. This association is a collective effort to shape the future of outdoor hospitality, and like-minded individuals and organizations are invited to join on this transformative journey.”

Membership in APOLA offers an array of benefits. Members gain access to a wealth of resources, including best practices, case studies, newsletters, and market insights. Perhaps most importantly, the membership portal provides a platform for networking, allowing members to connect and collaborate, furthering APOLA’s vision of a unified, sustainable outdoor lodging sector.

The founding members, a roster of esteemed industry leaders, include representatives from Nomadic Resorts, Yaana Ventures, Vinetree Tourism, Explorar Hotels & Resorts, Cloud Collective, Minor Hotels, and Banyan Tree Escape, among others. Their diverse backgrounds and expertise indicate APOLA’s comprehensive approach to redefining outdoor lodging.

As APOLA embarks on this journey, it extends an invitation to those sharing its vision. For those interested in being part of this transformative movement, APOLA can be reached at info@aploa.io. Further information is available on their website, offering a glimpse into the future of sustainable tourism in the Asia Pacific region.

In conclusion, the launch of APOLA at the Thailand Tourism Forum 2024 is not just a milestone for the association but a significant step forward for the entire outdoor lodging industry in Asia-Pacific. It symbolizes a shift towards sustainability and responsible tourism, signalling a new era where the beauty of nature can be enjoyed responsibly and sustainably. As APOLA leads the way, the future of outdoor lodging looks brighter and greener than ever.

For more information, visit the APOLA – Asia Pacific Outdoor Lodging Association website.




Written by: Kanda Limw





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