At the inaugural Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism Forum 2018 (PHIST), hotels and tourism groups pledged to establish a model for the sustainable development of Asian islands, with the focus currently on plastic usage and its purported detriments.
The pledge commits stakeholders to reducing, reusing and recycling single-use plastic in Phuket, with the goal of eventually eradicating them in all hotels, as well as to undertaking a youth community education programme to raise grassroots awareness of the problems surrounding plastic usage.
PHIST gathered over 550 delegates from countries including Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong at the JW Marriott Mai Khao in Phuket to debate key issues.
At the Green Groove area, regional suppliers headlined an exhibition of Asia’s cutting-edge producers and inventors of sustainable products for the hospitality and tourism industries.
“We need to fight for Phuket. It is as simple as that. And we can’t do it alone. We need to do it together,” said Phuket Hotel Association president and managing director of Trisara, Anthony Lark.
“We have worked to build an inclusive coalition of public and private sector tourism groups who understand the critical need to act and think long term. We hope the Phuket Pledge will be a start and ultimately become a model for us and other islands regionally to come together for the sake of sustainable island tourism in Asia,” he added.
PHIST was opened by the deputy governor of Phuket, Prakob Wongmaneerung, and featured experts in their respective fields, focusing on marine and coastal tourism, sustainability, youth education and community tourism.
The event was co-organised by Phuket Hotels Association, C9 Hotelworks led by managing director Bill Barnett and Greenview CEO Eric Ricaurte, with support from tourism bodies including the Ministry of Sports and Tourism.