Thai innovation shines at ITB Berlin 2024

By TIN Media | Asean News Published 3 weeks ago on 29 March 2024
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THAILAND:

Over 125 carbon-neutral tourism packages are ready for sale at ITB Berlin 2024, the world’s largest tourism trade fair. Thailand's innovative tourism and creative economic research have attracted European entrepreneurs, leading to business negotiations and higher European visits to Thailand.
Assoc Prof Supawadee Photiyarach, Thailand Science Research and Innovation's ( TSRI ) senior Specialist and Chairman of the Subcommittee in Tourism and Creative Industry at Program Management Unit for Competitiveness (PMUC), highlighted the collaboration between TSRI and environmentally conscious Thai tourism entrepreneurs like Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) in launching 125 carbon-neutral tourism packages at ITB Berlin 2024.

These packages, spanning 42 provinces, 17 major cities, and 25 secondary cities in Thailand, are certified by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO). They were developed by 200 researchers from the carbon-neutral tourism research working group, representing 20 universities and funded by PMUC and TSRI.

Support from EU SW?TCH-Asia and the European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism facilitated connections with Europe. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), as the main host, provided significant booth space for fair activities.
At the event, collaborative presentations with European partners have sparked significant interest, leading to negotiations with tourism entrepreneurs from various countries. The outcomes of tourism and creative economic research, supported by three ministries and eight organizations over the past three years, demonstrate Thailand’s readiness in research teams, processes, tools, and user focus. This year marks Thailand’s shift towards full-scale expansion and preparation for quality tourism, aiming for Net Zero operations, in line with TSRI’s policy and the government’s focus on high-quality tourists, promoting secondary cities, and positioning Thailand as a destination for environment, health, and all-inclusive tourism.

Wasumon Netkitcharoen, President of TEATA, revealed that with research funding from PMUC and collaboration since 2021, TEATA, with TAT's support, has intensified domestic and international marketing efforts. This led to the presentation of 125 certified routes/tourism programs by TGO. TEATA has also attracted the attention of European sustainable tourism associations, signing agreements with global partner organizations like ATTA, Planeterra, EXO Foundation, FAR, and Green Destinations Foundation at the Thailand Stand of TAT, marking a historic moment for Thailand’s sustainable tourism. Collaboration between private sector experts and academia has enhanced research and knowledge, contributing to TEATA's negotiations with over 35 global companies for commercial benefit.

Additionally, TEATA participated in ITB Berlin 2024, sharing experiences on Thailand’s sustainable tourism. Post-event meetings with Dutch embassy officials and businesspersons aimed to elevate Thailand’s tourism destination status for quality tourists and sustainable resource conservation.

Assoc Prof Thamasak Yeemin, Director of Nature-Based Tourism at PMUC, highlighted the success of PMUC’s Carbon-Neutral Tourism Plan in developing activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with Thailand’s zero carbon goals. This international acceptance has led to beneficial development across sectors.

Assoc Prof  Siwarit Pongsakornrungsilp, Vice President of Walailak University, noted European confidence in long-stay and wellness tourism programs, developed through discussions with Thailand’s tourism authorities. Plans include testing tourism routes in the Andaman region and expanding flight routes to Krabi International Airport to divert tourists from Phuket. This aligns with Thailand’s health tourism potential, recognized for quality and pricing.

Asst Prof Pimlapas Pongsakornrungsilp, Acting Dean of the School of Management at Walailak University, mentioned Krabi’s efforts toward carbon-neutral tourism, involving government, private sector, and local communities. Krabi aims to be carbon-neutral by 2040, with initiatives like the Krabi Carbon Neutral Tourism 2040 project with Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co Ltd.

Furthermore, Tourism for All, utilizing PMUC research, supports visually impaired visitors to Thailand, showcasing the collaboration between government, academia, the private sector, and society. This aligns with Thailand’s policy of meeting needs sustainably, making it a global tourism destination for all.


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