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Nov 29, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Thailand teams up with Expedia and UNESCO to promote more sustainable tourism

Thailand is continuing its parallel efforts in terms of tourism development and environmental protection. Having teamed up with the Expedia group and UNESCO, the country is inviting tourism stakeholders to sign an ecology charter. By signing the charter, the people and companies concerned commit to opting for local initiatives where possible and limiting their use of single-use plastics. 


The Expedia Group, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have joined forces in a bid to improve environmental issues. The three organisations have already been working together since September 2018, reports Le Quotidien du Tourisme. The nationwide “Next Steps Towards a Sustainable Thailand” campaign is the trio’s latest concrete action.

A charter has been written for the country’s various tourism stakeholders to sign. Those who sign it make a commitment to opt for local initiatives where possible, for example when proposing entertainment activities to tourists, and to promote local craftsmanship. Signing this ecology pledge also requires them to develop policies to limit – or even stop – their use of single-use plastics.


Tourism is in a great position for fighting pollution


“With 1.4 billion tourists crossing international borders last year alone, tourism has an impact on protecting the planet and in protecting culture,” said UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, Ernesto Ottone. In addition to travellers, anyone connected with the tourist industry can help to protect the environment.

“This cooperation with leading global tourism partners such as the Expedia group and a renowned organisation like UNESCO enables TAT to encourage tourism stakeholders to accelerate sustainable tourism development nationwide and allows new travel experiences to be developed,” added  Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Deputy Governor of the TAT.


Ecology and tourism development


A hugely popular destination for visitors from all over the world, Thailand is pulling out all the stops to ensure that the region’s natural habitat is preserved and that its tourist trade is boosted. With the help of its partners, the country – which this year has found itself at the head of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – wants to increase its palette of attractions for foreign visitors.

It wants to promote sites that are less well-known than those that already attract huge numbers of visitors. The Expedia Group has agreed to advertise these emerging sites, which could be of interest to visitors with a high spending power. Furthermore, the travel giant is relaying environmental messages to its clients and partners.


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