Bangkok, 14 June 2018 – Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has hailed activities arranged by government agencies and private companies in the tourism sector promoting environmental conservation, stressing the government’s commitment to reduce the environmental impact from tourism and related development.
According to recent news reports in local media, General Prayut also praised the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), citing examples on the Trat Dream Islands Run 2018, where runners helped collect garbage, and the World Ocean Day event in Phuket joined by some 60 entrepreneurs from Africa who also helped collect garbage on the beach. These examples were where TAT had successfully promoted the government’s action and environmental policy worldwide.
Impactful government actions pushed by TAT include promotion for the use of environmentally friendly multi-use drinking containers, and the ban on single use plastic cups. This along with other recent initiatives by the Thai government, that were also well received, include:
‘Thailand becomes first Asian country to join ‘Upcycling the Oceans’ clean-up effort’, a global initiative by the Ecoalf Foundation to help clean the oceans of debris and transform the plastic debris into thread to make fabric. TAT’s initial target areas under the ‘Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand’ include the East coast of Thailand (Ko Samet, Rayong); the Gulf of Thailand (Ko Tao, Surat Thani); and the Andaman Sea (Phuket).
‘Smoking ban on Thai beaches to promote clean and safe environment for all‘: the smoking ban on some 24 popular Thai beaches across the country as part of Thailand’s sustainable tourism plan efforts. The ban came into effect in November 2017.
‘National parks and zoos to soon ban plastic bags and containers’ whereby plastic and foam bags and containers will be banned from all of Thailand’s national parks and every zoo in the country under a plan being prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as a step to reduce the estimated 45 quadrillion pieces of plastic thrown away every year in the country.
‘Plan to cut marine waste by up to 50%’: the Thai government’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources recently unveiled its plan to reduce marine waste by 50% by 2027. The initiative was launched to honour World Oceans Day under the ‘Clean Our Ocean’ theme.
TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said: “TAT is very committed to develop a further understanding of environmental mindfulness among Thai and foreign tourists and encourage all to join us in the development of Thailand’s tourism to sustainability.”
At the current Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) 2018, taking place this week from 13 to 15 June, TAT has placed emphasis on environmental sustainability, and encouraged delegate to help ‘save the Earth’ by using a TAT provided complimentary reusable water tumbler for beverages. The event directory is available in digital format only as the TTM+ 2018 shreds paper usage to reduce its environmental footprint on the world’s resources. Finally, delegates are encouraged to bring their own beach bag to the event.