On Thursday the 9th of July at 4:00 PM I attended the virtual seminar IT TAKES AN ISLAND: Sustainability and the New Traveler. The Seminar lasted 2 hours and was compiled of multiple presentations by large actors in the Sustainable tourism industry. The speakers being:
Dr Thon Thamrongawansat
Dirk De Cuyper
Although the seminar focused greatly on the impacts of the current global crisis on smaller isolated tourism businesses. There were many helpful and insightful ideas brought up about sustainability in tourism and eco tourism. Especially Dr Thon Thamrongawansats presentation on tourism in Thailand. With interesting discussions on the difficult divisions that come to creating luxury resort nations in a green way.
Over all the speakers emphasised that the best way forward to combating the climate crisis is eco tourism and a sustainability focus that all hotels should feel moral obligated to achieve.
Although each speaker focused on different hotels, locations, and aspects of sustainability one that was especially insightful was Claudine Nagiah. Nadiah is the Sustainability Director of Blue Tree resort in Phuket. She described sustainability as a goal that can only be achieved through efforts of both the hotel and those visiting it. there must be a relationship and understanding between both actors of the small ways in which they can minimise their impacts negative impacts and emphasis their positive ones on the surrounding environments. For described foundations and community projects that are hotel founded and run as an effective way of doing this. This way the hotel and tourism industry itself does not merely take advantage of the benefits of small islands, but works to become in itself an advantage and benefit to the community and environment in which it is located.
This has prompted me towards the conclusion that hotels must not take a different role to what they were first intended. In the age of sustainable tourism and the words of Bill Barnett, every hotel must now serve a purpose to the location in which it is situated. Eco tourism is about giving back to the place you profit from and allowing some sort of connection and bond to be made between community and tourism.