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Switching Asian tourism to Green
seminar March 7

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supported by the European Union under its SWITCH-Asia programme


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Switching Asian Tourism to Green

Sustainability best practices and challenges from
Thailand, Bhutan, Laos and Kyrgyzstan

 Thursday March 7, 11:00 – 14:30
City Cube – room M4

Agenda (download)

11:00 – 12:00     Thailand – Inspiring innovations in Thai Sustainable Tourism
12:00 – 13:00     Bhutan – Becoming the Greenest Country in the World?
13:00 – 14:00     Laos – Sustainable from the start?
14:00 – 15:00     Kyrgyzstan – Communities at the centre?

11:00 – 12:00
Thailand – Inspiring innovations in Thai Sustainable Tourism

  • Driving Sustainability deeper into Thai Tourism Supply Chains (download)
    Peter Richards, ECEAT
    How can we support local businesses to become greener? This session will share experiences and practical tips raising sustainability standards among local SME tourism suppliers in Thailand, learned during the EU SWITCH-ASIA funded Tourlink project.
  • Thailand’s local-global eco-innovation: Carbon Neutral Travel Routes (download)
    Parichat Suntararak, Thai Eco and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA)
    Be inspired by Thailand’s Carbon Neutral Tours, which weave great, local experiences with climate friendly travel. Each tour has been tailored to have a low carbon footprint. Remaining carbon emissions are then offset using local Thai carbon offset projects.
  • PATA’s practical path to reduce Plastic and Food waste
    Fernanda Rodak, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) (download)
    Food waste and plastic waste, especially single-use plastics, stand out as significant challenges faced by the tourism and hospitality industry. In Thailand, food waste accounts for 64% of the country’s total waste, and approximately 2 million tons of plastic waste are generated annually. Presentation on the tools and resources developed by PATA to guide Thai tourism businesses towards food and plastic waste reduction and more sustainable production and consumption practices.
  • 10 Outstanding Thai Community Based Tourism Experiences 
    Photjanee Kaewmeesri, Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) (download)
    Thailand is a world leader in community based tourism (CBT), with over 3 decades of experience. The speaker will introduce 10 of Thailand’s best CBT experiences, and share some simple tips for tourists and tour operators to support CBT in Thailand.
  • Community-based tourism and human rights: research and actionable solutions (download)
    Charlotte Vogels, Fair Tourism
    Fair Tourism presents human right research conducted with DASTA (Thai government) on visits to vulnerable communities. Discussion on key identified human rights issues and actionable solutions.

12:00 – 13:00
Bhutan – Becoming the Greenest Country in the World?

  • Green, greener, greenest – how can we make Bhutan even greener? (download)
    Sonam Dorji, Association of Bhutan Tour operators (ABTO)
    What works well and what is still a challenge. The Switch Asia Sustour Bhutan project.
  • Sixteen products, four destinations, one green country – Low carbon products and packages Robin Boustead, tourism sustainability expert (download)
  • In sustainability leading tour operators pitch innovative low carbon packages from four Bhutan valleys
  • Sustainable Development visa fee – where does the fee go? (download)
    Mr. Tashi Tenzin, Department of Tourism
    New Bhutan visa regulations promoting prosperity and sustainability.
  • Pathways for a Green Bhutan
    Interactive Panel Discussion and Q&A with Mr. Tashi Tenzin, Sonam Dorji and Robin Boustead and two tour operators.

13:00 – 14:00
Laos – Sustainable from the start?

  • Switching Laos tourism to green (download)
    Paphanh Soundala, PLAN Laos
    Responsible tourism/eco-tourism as the USP for Laos and a key differentiator from other SEA destinations. Experiences from the Lasting Laos initiative supported in the frame of the Switch Asia Sustour Laos project.
  • Lasting Laos – sustainability certification in Laos (download)
    Souphaphone Khamsennam, Laos chamber of commerce (LNCCI)
    Establishing a local certification for micro tourism companies in a LDC. Lessons learned.
  • In sustainability leading tour operators pitch innovative sustainable packages from Laos (download)
    Contributions from Green Discovery, Orla Tours, Easia, Tiger Trails and Nakarath.
  • Sustainable hotels in Laos (download)
    Aline van de Meulen, Travelife sustainable hotel expert
    Best practice examples of sustainable certified hotels and the challenges faced in waste, water and energy management in the Lao context.

14:00 – 15:00
Kyrgyzstan – Communities at the centre?

  • Switching Kyrgyz tourism to green (download)
    Eleonora Akmatova, Helvetas (Swiss development agency)
    The Greentour project: moving Kyrgyz tourism towards sustainability. Activities, lessons learned and new sustainable products.
  • Community Based Tourism in Kyrgyzstan (download)
    Asylbek Rajiev, Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association (KCBTA)
    How CBT became the USP of Kyrgyz tourism and how community benefit’s from its approach. Innovative CBT products from Kyrgyzstan and the role of the KCBTA
  • In sustainability leading tour operators pitch innovative sustainable packages from Kyrgyzstan (download)
    Nurbek Saparov, Kyrgyzstan Association of Tour operators (KATO)
    KATO Travelife Certified tour operators present innovative tour products from Kyrgyzstan developed with the support of the Greentour Kyrgyzstan project.

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