Introducing the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge in Thailand

A global initiative to combat single-use plastic in tourism piloted in Thailand.

For the first time in the world, a global organism like United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to join force with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Expedia Group, a global travel platform, to launch the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge, which is part of a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Expedia Group and TAT, following a successful collaboration that began in September 2018.

In 2020, TAT, as a marketing agency, will focus on promoting Thailand as a global destination of responsible tourism by prioritising on environmental sustainability and cultural vibrancy. “Collaborating with Expedia Group and a renowned organisation like UNESCO will enable TAT to better incentivise business stakeholders and industry players to accelerate sustainable tourism development across the nation while supporting new travel experiences in emerging Thai destinations,” said Mr Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and South Pacific).

Sitting buddha statues at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon temple in Ayutth
Row of Buddha statues at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon temple in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Under this new pledge, all parties are committed to supporting the reduction and elimination of single-use plastic while also promoting local culture and activities in Thailand. Regarding itself as a strong brand, UNESCO hopes that its endorsement will help spread awareness in reducing waste in the tourism sector. “The reality is that everyone needs to play their part in protecting the planet and in protecting culture, and with 1.4 billion tourists on the road last year alone, tourism has a key impact,” said Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.

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