Thai hotel tops global green growth ranking
The Thai tourism sector’s commitment to sustainability was recognized last week when Anantara Siam, a five-star hotel in Bangkok, topped all hotels around the world in the global sustainability score conducted by Green Growth 2050, a European-based service that promotes green and sustainable tourism.
American-born businessman turned Thai citizen William Heinecke is the founder of Anantara Resorts and the chain of nearly two-dozen upmarket hotels is part of the portfolio in his Minor International Corporation, which also has holdings in fast food restaurants and retail brands. Anantara has been at the forefront of green and sustainable tourism in Thailand and around the region.
Anantara Siam achieved a score of 86 percent in Green Growth 2050’s sustainability scoring, “setting the benchmark for all other hotels across all assessments including social, cultural, environmental and operating best practice,” the service said. The assessment covers 37 criteria and 406 indicators.
“Sustainability is very important to us at the hotel and throughout the brand,” said Patrick Booth, the general manager of Anantara Siam. “We worked hard to comply with the Green Growth standards and we are thrilled with the result of 86 percent. The work doesn’t stop there, and it is important we maintain these high standards.”
The hotel implemented a range of sustainability initiatives including transitioning using only glass water bottles in the rooms and other areas, eliminating the use of plastic bottles. It also used reclaimed, treated and filtered water in its air-conditioning cooling towers, saving huge amounts of water each day.
Although Anantara Siam in Bangkok scored the highest in the sustainability assessment, 18 other Anantara resorts in Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives and the United Arab Emirates have been certified by Green Growth 2050 for best practices.
Green and sustainable tourism has become a priority focus of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Kingdom’s tourism sector in general. The TAT has been placing more emphasis on community tourism to ensure environmental and cultural preservation and to see that the benefits of tourism are more broadly and fairly shared with local people and communities.
“Under the government’s national tourism development plan for 2016-2017, we plan to disperse income to local communities nationwide as well as build a better quality of life for the local people, strengthening the communities, and promoting the preservation of Thai culture and traditions,’’ Minister of Tourism Kobkarn Wattanavrankul said at a recent forum. “All these will lead to the conservation of our natural resources and the sustainability of the country’s tourism industry as a whole.”
Photo credit: www.greengrowth2050.travel