TAT Partners with International Organizations to Shape the Future of Travel

In a landmark move towards sustainable tourism, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced its collaboration with Tourism Cares for the inaugural “Tourism Cares with Thailand Meaningful Travel FAM” from March 7 to 14, 2024. This partnership underscores TAT’s commitment to enhancing eco-friendly practices and positioning Thailand as a global leader in sustainable tourism.

With a firm pledge to promote responsible travel experiences, TAT aims to involve more Thai suppliers and ensure their certification in the Tourism Cares program. This initiative aligns with TAT’s broader goal of uplifting Thai suppliers to meet international standards for sustainable tourism.

“Sustainable travel is the key to Thailand’s future. Over the past two decades, we’ve hosted the Thailand Tourism Awards, initially focusing on categories related to economic and social impact for local communities. In recent years, we’ve expanded the scope to include sustainability and low-carbon tourism. However, while this became our standard, we recognised the importance of working with international partners,” said Mr. Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa.

Key Partners Drive Sustainable Practice

Key partners like Tourism Cares and Delta Air Lines, especially in the US market, are crucial. Delta Air operates the “Someone Somewhere” program, which prioritises the well-being of local communities. Similarly, Korean Air is dedicated to sustainable management within the airline industry. By collaborating with these partners, we aim to align with international standards.

Our efforts involve upskilling and reskilling businesses to meet the protocols of the Tourism Cares standard. Currently, we have 17 businesses in Thailand adhering to these standards. However, our focus goes beyond promotion; we also aim to facilitate these businesses in the future,” said Mr. Siripakorn Cheawsamoot.

Roadmap to a Sustainable Future

The journey towards sustainable tourism in Thailand is guided by a comprehensive roadmap. In the first phase of 2023, Thailand became a Tourism Cares Destination Partner, establishing crucial impact partners and launching the “Meaningful Thailand Map” to highlight sustainable travel experiences. Notably, Thailand became the inaugural destination participating in the Delta Sustainability Programme, setting a precedent for environmental stewardship.

“Our mission is to unite the travel industry and serve as a catalyst for positive impacts in terms of social, economic, and environmental aspects. We operate as a community with members, including Delta and TAT. We aim to bring everyone together to focus on sustainability, as Andrew highlighted, bridging the various aspects of the travel and tourism industry. This ensures travellers have engaging and immersive experiences in countries that are sustainable and beneficial to local communities. Currently, we have 17 organisations featured on the Meaningful Travel map in Thailand, and we hope to see this number grow significantly. We are excited to partner with TAT on this program,” said Mr. John Sutherland, Senior Director of Community Impact at Tourism Cares.

Building upon the successes of the initial phase, 2024 marks the second phase of this sustainable tourism endeavour. TAT plans to further expand its network of impact partners, enhance the Meaningful Map, and conduct familiarisation trips and educational sessions for Thai suppliers. These efforts are bolstered by strategic PR and marketing campaigns aimed at attracting responsible US travellers to Thailand.

Crucial Alliances for Sustainable Travel

Crucially, TAT’s partnership extends beyond Tourism Cares to include major airlines like Delta Air Lines and Korean Air. These alliances play a pivotal role in facilitating sustainable travel to Thailand and supporting TAT’s vision of making Thailand the hub for sustainable travel in Southeast Asia.

“We value our partnership with TAT, and we understand that we cannot achieve our goals alone. It takes a collective effort. We are very proud that TAT is at the forefront of this initiative. They are the first in Asia to take such a significant step towards sustainable tourism,” said Mr. Andrew Kim, Director of Sales for Korea and Southeast Asia, Delta Air Lines.

Looking ahead, TAT envisions Thailand as the host venue for the Tourism Cares Summit 2025, cementing its status as a beacon of sustainable tourism on the global stage.

Through concerted efforts and strategic partnerships, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is charting a path towards a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry, ensuring that the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Thailand are preserved for future generations.

Journalist: Darin Nicha, Travel Daily News Asia

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