The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with the Expedia Group and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), are launching a global sustainable tourism initiative, The UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge (the ‘Pledge’), to reduce single-use plastic whilst promoting local cultural and community activities in Thailand.
The Pledge renews an existing MOU agreement between TAT and Expedia that began in September 2018 and saw both parties working closely to attract international tourists to emerging secondary destinations; such as, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son. This resulted in a 25% annual increase in demand for accommodation in Chiang Rai, especially from international travellers to four- and five-star hotels at a 1.5-times higher level of spending than Thai domestic travellers.
Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific, said, “This strategic tripartite agreement comes at an opportune time when TAT will focus on building confidence for Thailand’s tourism brand by promoting responsible tourism. It ensures that Thailand’s tourism sector will maintain its strong economic growth, as TAT prioritises environmental sustainability and cultural vibrancy that positions Thailand as a sustainable destination in accordance with the TAT’s vision.”
The agreement also puts sustainability at the heart of everything TAT does as it gears up to mark its 60th anniversary in 2020.