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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Eco-Awakening in Global Tourism and MICE Market!

A deepening concern for the fast-changing environment resonated at the forum during PATA Travel 2023.

Peter Semone,  Chairman of PATA, said: “It’s no longer a question whether sustainability is important. It’s only a matter of how quickly it should be implemented for the best outcome.”

Supawan Teerarat, Sr. Vice President- Development & Innovation, TCEB, said: “After witnessing the hottest year, we’re now in the new era of global boiling and sustainability has become a must follow practice. Since MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) events release more and more CO2, it’s all the more important for MICE organisers to try and keep the effect on environment to the lowest.”

Speakers at the forum- including Peter Semone, Chair, PATA.
Speakers at the forum- including Peter Semone, Chair, PATA.

As the fastest-growing tourism vertical, the global MICE market is estimated to be between $600 to $800 bn. It’s growing annually at 8 per cent, almost double that of the world economy.

Ms Teerarat added: “Clients are also selecting hotels, venues, cities and destinations that have policy on sustainability. We’re working towards ‘Thailand Sustainable Movement Standards’ since 2013. It includes features like ‘farm to function’ where organic food from local farms is sourced for the event. MICE venue standards set by ASEAN foundation have to be adhered to by venue operators.”

Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman of the India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB), said: “India Government set many sustainable norms for recently built new venues across the country.  Use of LED lighting, doing away with single-use plastic, utilising solar energy and sourcing food from local supply chains are among those. Kochi airport is operating on 100 solar power.”

Peter Richards, Project Manager, EU SWITCH-ASIA TOURLINK Project
Peter Richards, Project Manager, EU SWITCH-ASIA TOURLINK Project.

Locally sourced fresh, organic food cooked at the live station is preferred at many corporate events.

Peter Richards, Project Manager, EU SWITCH-ASIA TOUR LINK Project, said: “Sustainability awareness is broadening beyond the environment to include social and cultural concerns as well. There’s a growing demand for greener, fairer holiday destinations. We’re trying to increase sustainability in the tourism supply chain through standards and certificates.”

Tour Link project is working to raise sustainability standards in six of Thailand Tourism’s sub-sectors to promote Thailand as a sustainable destination. It works with the Government and Destination Management Companies (DMC) to process checklists with local and global standards through tailored materials, training and group coaching sessions.

Sivatel Hotel Bangkok, the boutique all-suite hotel, received the PATA Gold award this year for its exemplary sustainability practice.

Alisara Sivayathorn, CEO of Sivatel Hotel Bangkok, said: “We are comaparitively a small hotel. 100 kg of food was bieng wasted everyday when I took over the hotel as an inheritance in 2017. After training staff, we reduced food waste by almost 60 percent in next three years. We also switched to organic food. In 2021, we started recycling food waste into fish feed and to make manure. In 2022, we sent dried waste to farmers as chicken feed. Now, we produce 600 kg of processed waste per month. 33 kgs is sent to chicken farm and are figuring out where to utilise the rest.”

Booking.com’s latest report says that 91 per cent of Indians wish to travel more sustainably.

 

 

 

Written by: Madhura Katti

 

 

 

 

 

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