Thailand advocates for regenerative tourism at APEC
APEC 2022 host country Thailand was a driving force behind the 21 member economies promoting regenerative tourism as the path to making the industry sustainable, inclusive and equitable in guidelines adopted by the group’s Tourism Ministers in Bangkok.
Reviving tourism was the theme of the recent 11th APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Tourism Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok. Many within the industry have been looking at the pandemic-related decline in travel and tourism as an opportunity to reshape the sector with policies to make it more sustainable, responsible and inclusive.
The Ministers passed a set of APEC Policy Recommendations on Regenerative Tourism. They seek to realize a tourism future that “ensures that the industry contributes to all types of well-being locally.” The guidelines call for rebuilding travel and tourism “through investment, the creation of employment opportunities, human resource development, occupational standards, and support for small businesses.”
According to the New York Times, regenerative travel and tourism represent a new frontier and are a step beyond sustainable tourism. The paper explained that in sustainable travel, tourists strive not to spoil a place or destination. In regenerative tourism, visitors aim to leave a place better than they found it for future generations.
Thailand has a strong interest in promoting a new model for the industry. The Kingdom is a global tourism success story, having risen from a travel backwater a few decades ago to become one of the most popular and visited destinations. Along with this amazing achievement, the Kingdom has also taken measures to manage its environment as there are ever-increasing numbers of visitors.
Thailand’s policymakers are advancing the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic model for the country’s development, and they believe that regenerative tourism fits neatly into that model.
Photo courtesy of https://www.tatnews.org/2022/04/bangkok-to-host-11th-apec-tourism-ministerial-meeting-in-august-2022/