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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Phuket to Shine as 2026’s Top Eco-Tourism Hotspot

TCEB logoThailand has emerged as a pivotal player on the international stage of sustainable tourism, with the island of Phuket selected to host the prestigious Global Sustainable Tourism Council 2026 (GSTC 2026). This landmark event symbolizes a significant stride in the nation’s commitment to sustainable development and solidifies its position as a leading destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE).

The announcement by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), in collaboration with local and national partners, marks a victorious moment for Phuket, which has been chosen due to its robust infrastructure and rich cultural heritage. TCEB President, Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, heralded this achievement as a testament to the strong synergy between the TCEB, Phuket, and various stakeholders in enhancing Thailand’s MICE industry and sustainability credentials globally.

Scheduled for April 2026, GSTC 2026 will centre around the theme of “Regenerative Tourism,” aiming to redefine the paradigms of travel and tourism. The event will draw over 700 delegates from around 60 countries, spanning government representatives, industry leaders, and key stakeholders from diverse sectors, including hospitality, academia, and non-governmental organizations. The gathering is projected to generate substantial economic benefits, estimated at over 50 million baht in revenue.

Phuket Governor, Mr Sophon Suwannarat, expressed gratitude towards the collaborative efforts of both the public and private sectors in securing the bid. He emphasized that hosting GSTC 2026 aligns perfectly with Phuket’s strategic vision to transform into a leading global sustainable tourism destination by 2027. Initiatives such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing waste management systems are expected to play a crucial role in this transformation.

Furthermore, Mr. Bhummikitti Raktaengam, President of the Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation (STDF), highlighted the event as beginning a new era for sustainable tourism in Phuket and the broader Andaman region. He stressed the importance of practical sustainability efforts that include partnerships between the tourism industry and governmental bodies to tackle environmental challenges and comply with international tourism regulations.

The GSTC 2026 will showcase Thailand’s commitment to environmental stewardship and enhance the perception of Thailand’s tourism offerings on the global stage, especially among discerning tourists who prioritize environmental concerns. Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), pointed out that the event will elevate Thailand’s image as a destination serious about protecting and conserving its natural and cultural assets.

DASTA’s Director-General, Gp. Capt. Athikhun Kongmee also remarked on the significance of the event in strengthening Thailand’s sustainable tourism reputation worldwide. He mentioned DASTA’s ongoing efforts to adopt the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria to foster sustainable practices across Thailand’s designated areas.

As Phuket gears up to host this significant global event, the island will demonstrate its readiness and capability to welcome the world, showcasing its exceptional facilities and unique cultural identity. The GSTC 2026 is poised to mark a pivotal chapter in Thailand’s journey towards becoming a global hub for sustainable tourism and MICE activities, setting a benchmark for others to follow.

 

 

 

Written by: Supaporn Pholrach

 

 

 

 

 

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