Bangkok ranked high as a sustainable destination

Bangkok’s gatherings are green and good, according to the latest Global Destination Sustainability Index that ranked the Thai capital the second best city in Asia for environmental and social practices in the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions sector.

Published annually by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index is considered the industry standard among decision makers in the meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibition (MICE) industry.

Thailand is already among the most popular MICE destinations in Asia, and the GDS Index result could serve to bring more business events to the Kingdom and further raise Thailand’s international profile. More business events translate into more deals being made, more investment coming in, and a greater contribution to Thailand’s economic growth.

“Given the fact that international MICE travelers increasingly focus on sustainability, and the GDS Index aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this ranking certainly benefits both the MICE industry and Thailand at the same time,” said Chiruit Isarangkul na Ayuthaya, president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).

The TCEB has been encouraging and assisting MICE operators to raise their environmental and sustainability standards in recent years. The GDS ranking affirms its efforts and also speaks well about the awareness of the private sector and its commitment to adopting sustainability in its business practices.

Sustainability is also a broader national priority. In fact, Thailand has adopted the theme of ‘Advancing Partnership for Sustainability’ as the guiding philosophy of its one-year term as chair country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Thailand assumed the chair status on January 1.

In the GDS Index, Thailand trailed only Tokyo in Asia and came in ahead of Goyang in South Korea, Sapporo in Japan, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Globally, Scandinavian cities dominated the rankings.  Gothenburg in Sweden finished first, Copenhagen in Denmark came in second, Reykjavik in Iceland third, Oslo in Norway fourth, and Uppsala in Sweden fifth.

The ICCA arrived at its rankings by examining four broad subjects: city environmental strategy and infrastructure, city social sustainability performance, industry supplier support, and convention bureau strategy and initiatives.