Sustainable Tourism Response to Global Warming (2011)
The tourism and travel industry is one of the largest global economic sectors and is seen as a priority source of foreign exchange earnings and job creation in many countries around the world. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts that international tourist arrivals will reach 1.6 billion by the year 2020. The UNWTO has determined that tourism, if properly planned and managed, will continue to play a vital role in contributing to economic and socio-cultural development with special emphasis on poverty alleviation, gender equality, cultural preservation and natural conservation.
With its symbiotic relationship to the environment and climate, tourism and travel are highly climate-sensitive sectors. There is already growing evidence of the impacts of global warming especially related to sea level rise in many tourism destinations. It must be recognized that many of the impacts facing countries and destinations are beyond the influence of these destinations and countries but it is essential that all sectors work towards to reduce global warming. Given that the industry has recognized its responsibility to help to deal with global warming and that its very existence depends heavily on lessening its impacts there can be no doubt that this is an issue of strategic importance to both the public as well as private tourism and travel sectors.
This project “Sustainable Tourism in Response to Global Warming” funded by the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) was aimed to identify directions and measures for tourism development in response to global warming at the destination level and also at the facility level. The College of Innovation, Thammasat University led by Prof. Dr. Walter Jamieson, Director of Service Innovation Program, was responsible for undertaking this initiative. Project duration was for 6 months during April – September 2011.
There are three main activities including:
1. Public presentation and stakeholder meeting on tourism and global warming.
2. Training program for hotels in the designated tourism areas.
3. Working with the pilot hotels in implementing activities that can help to effectively reduce global warming.
Public presentation was organized under the topic “Innovative Climate Change Management Strategies in Tourism Development” to provide knowledge on the example of measures that can be done at different levels.
|Director (right) and Deputy Director (left) of DASTA||Presentation by Prof. Dr. Walter Jamieson||Public Presentation on June 30, 2011|
|Best Western Pattaya Hotel||Bello Villa Metro Pattaya Hotel||Tropicana Pattaya Hotel|
|Baan Poo Resort and Spa||AANA Resort and Spa, Koh Chang|
|Environmental management practices in pilot hotels were focused on 4 areas including wastewater management and reuse, solid waste management, water efficiency and energy efficiency. Based on the investigation, it is found that some practices of the pilot hotels are operated and implemented in a way that attempts to avoid and decrease the environmental effect and carbon emission. However, results of these practices still not yet meet the national standard. To improve environmental management in hotels, a number of measures were suggested as follows:|
|Based on the pilot hotels’ feedback, this project has been useful and increased their awareness of how they can improve their operation which could help environment as well as reduce cost operation at the same time. It is important that the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) continues to provide more support in raising awareness of the tourism industry on the global warming issues.|
The followings are recommended:
1. Promote and inform the conceptual of environmental management system to hotels by using easy implementing technique such as announcement, seminar, workshop, pay-back money program and etc. for theirs staff and guest.
2. Continuously encourage and promote the environmental preservation activities to all of hotel sector, communities, government agencies and private sectors.
3. Provide and support the environmental management in terms of information, technical assistant to hotels, communities, local governmental agencies.
4. Encourage the environmental management network from hotels, communities and local governmental agencies to monitor the environmental problems.
5. Provide the environmental expert for assisting hotels, communities, local governmental agencies to solve the environmental problems.
6. Implement carbon emission map from main activities in designed areas.