In Dialog With Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, the Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand –

As a long-standing trusted accomplice of the Tourism Authority of Thailand UK, The Luxurious Editor’s, Ross Fraser, was invited to satisfy Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, the Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand on the UK agent roadshow in Glasgow earlier this month. That is Tourism Authority of Thailand first UK agent roadshow in 3 years which was hosted in each Manchester and Glasgow.

The importance of the roadshow was additional amplified provided that the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand is retiring this yr and his attendance was to be his ultimate enterprise journey to the UK.

As Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, please inform us extra about your function – and a typical day if such a factor exists.

No two days are the identical which is an thrilling a part of the job! I spend a variety of time travelling round Thailand to satisfy stakeholders but additionally internationally to satisfy commerce companions, media, and attend commerce reveals – the function is massively assorted which makes it extraordinarily fascinating.

When within the workplace in Bangkok there may be often a variety of paperwork to finish with many approval processes. I chair conferences, take heed to the crew, work with them to develop home and worldwide campaigns and methods. While some days are spent in parliament, engaged on tourism protocols and securing funds for the tourism trade. As they are saying no two days are the identical!

The Sustainable Tourism Objectives initiative has been a key precedence for you and Thailand is making spectacular positive aspects towards reaching these objectives. Please inform us in regards to the journey to date.

The UNWTO SDG initiative includes 17 clear targets together with agendas corresponding to poverty, schooling, equality and local weather change (to call a couple of) as a part of their 2030 agenda.

TAT’s dedication in direction of sustainable journey is in keeping with Thailand’s Bio-Round-Inexperienced (BCG) Financial Mannequin and the Sustainable Tourism Objective (STGs) which is in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Improvement Objectives (SDGs). TAT’s STGs technique is to be applied and rolled out throughout the Thai tourism sector within the run as much as 2030. It will contribute to sustainability in 4 key areas together with socio-economy, tradition and the setting.

We’re working with stakeholders throughout the Thai tourism sector to encourage them to behave extra sustainably. We’re introducing a STAR system the place stakeholders can earn 1 to five stars relying on how proactive they’re in working sustainably. They are going to be incentivized by TAT additionally and people with the very best STAR scores given the very best alternatives to work with and be supported by TAT, for instance, attending worldwide commerce reveals corresponding to TTM and WTM. Companies should present a proactive strategy and dedication to sustainability. We now have a listing of over 2,500 suppliers, from lodging to points of interest, eating places, tour corporations and transport suppliers, who signed as much as and certified underneath TAT’s SHA program (Security & Well being Administration throughout Covid-19) and we intention to maneuver them over to the brand new STAR program as leaders in tourism companies who’re striving to be the very best.

If / how has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted TATs sustainability journey?

Covid had an enormous monetary and financial impression on governments and companies – with much less money move and sadly some companies needed to shut fully. It has been tough to fund sustainability practices – as they aren’t low-cost and require a big stage of funding – companies want money move once more and in Thailand, this comes from tourism revenue.

Simply as we have been ruling out single-use plastics and turning a nook by way of progress (some examples embrace; plastic being banned from nationwide parks, and plenty of resorts implementing waste administration guidelines) then, for well being causes using masks and single-use gadgets to minimise the unfold of Covid got here, the throwaway tradition returned, nonetheless we are actually returning to scale back, reuse and recycle mindset and importantly educating youthful generations too and we’re working onerous to develop a brand new tourism ecosystem – one that may be a resilient tourism trade with a deal with high-value travellers to whom sustainable tourism is essential.

Nevertheless, the Covid pandemic additionally created some positives too. Usually, it has made many extra individuals conscious of sustainability points and fast-tracked it to the forefront of dialog.

And a sudden international lockdown highlighted the difficulty of over-tourism and compelled us to fastidiously think about the right way to re-start journey with out overloading locations once more – it was the proper time for tourism to reset.

We additionally famous optimistic modifications in shopper behaviour, together with a shift in direction of home journey (additionally good for economic system and fewer dependency on worldwide arrivals), which resulted in a swap from flying to coach journey and a choice for nature-based experiences and outside actions, which will be thought-about extra sustainable and likewise helps increase consciousness of environmental points.

Covid additionally offered alternatives for innovation in sustainable tourism practices, corresponding to using expertise for digital excursions and experiences which engages a youthful viewers who’re hooked on expertise!

Thailand is a stupendous and numerous nation providing guests from all around the world an array of experiences, how essential is the luxurious market to Thailand?

The posh market is essential to Thailand. It’s key to our excessive worth technique, welcoming guests who keep longer and spend extra within the economic system and group.

Thailand gives so many wonderful luxurious experiences from resorts and spas to a brand new seaplane service, Siam Seaplane, Michelin star eating and the world class hospitality and repair with a Thai smile that elevates the luxurious expertise in Thailand.

Luxurious for much less can also be essential to us. Thailand gives such good worth for cash that there’s a tremendous vary of inexpensive luxurious resorts and experiences in addition to the everyday luxurious gives for HNWIs making additional particular holidays extra accessible for travellers – for instance, that’s the reason we’re such a preferred honeymoon vacation spot.

And the way do you foresee the luxurious journey market supporting Thailand’s Sustainable Tourism Objectives?

There are such a lot of luxurious resorts in Thailand that they’re key to the technique.

Luxurious journey can play a vital function in supporting sustainable tourism practices by selling accountable tourism, environmental stewardship, and group growth. Luxurious journey suppliers have the chance to steer by instance and set the requirements for sustainable tourism practices within the trade.

We now have a variety of large international manufacturers investing in Thailand e.g. 4 Seasons in addition to rich buyers constructing luxurious boutique resorts who’ve the funds to put money into schooling and growth and paved the way in enhancing infrastructure, operations and coaching for workers to make sure sustainable practices.

They’ve the chance to make use of extra employees too – greater resorts typically require extra employees but additionally smaller boutique resorts make use of greater numbers of employees to make sure the very best hospitality expertise which creates extra job alternatives in native communities.

Offering philanthropic alternatives can also be a key space that the luxurious sector can assist. For instance, luxurious journey suppliers can create alternatives for travellers to take part in philanthropic efforts, corresponding to supporting native faculties or group tasks, or contributing to environmental conservation efforts.

What’s new and funky in Thailand?

There are many new resorts throughout the nation from fashionable manufacturers like The Normal to luxurious names such like 4 Seasons and plenty of unbiased boutique resorts too – a lot selection.

The Michelin Information – is nice for exploring Thai delicacies and sampling high-quality worldwide meals – from nice eating to road meals the Michelin Information is showcasing new areas and methods to discover Thailand. This yr we’ve been selling the easter area of Isan and subsequent yr we’ll launch Koh Samui to hitch Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Phang Nga guides.

Wellness is a giant focus. Extra of us are health-conscious and Thailand has at all times led the best way in wellness tourism and spas. With many new resorts just lately opening together with Rakxa Bangkok and Aleenta Chiang Mai (learn our information to the very best luxurious resorts in Thailand right here). From spas to wellness, yoga retreats, and medical tourism – Thailand is the proper vacation spot for well being and rejuvenation with new retreats for publish Covid well being restoration and psychological well being.

We now have additionally partnered with Netflix to launch thailandtravelmap.com which is a extremely enjoyable method to discover Thailand via your favorite Netflix reveals and naturally, Thailand is a well-liked vacation spot for a lot of actuality TV packages corresponding to The Solely Method is Essex, Married at First Sight, Actual Housewives and The Bachelor and now we have extra movie crews coming to Thailand this yr so watch your screens! The White Lotus is rumoured to be filming sequence 3 in Thailand which is de facto thrilling.

Luxurious is a extremely subjective time period – what does it imply to you personally?

For me, luxurious is ‘time for your self’. In a fast-paced and busy world, we not often discover time to nourish ourselves. Time to loosen up, take pleasure in my hobbies, spend time with my household and journey and expertise new issues is my biggest luxurious.

You might be retiring this yr – what legacy will you allow?

My legacy would be the Sustainable Tourism Objectives. I’m happy with what now we have achieved to date and I very a lot look ahead to watching the tourism trade in Thailand, notably from a sustainability perspective, develop and flourish.

Lastly, what’s your life motto? If in case you have one.

Firstly, have braveness and be type. And have the braveness of your conviction – you might encounter many defeats in life however don’t be defeated – at all times make sure you study out of your errors.

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