Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

‘Thailand’s tourism industry doomed if we don’t embrace nature’, Bensley tells TTF 2020

‘Thailand’s tourism industry doomed if we don’t embrace nature’, Bensley tells TTF 2020

BANGKOK: Thailand’s tourism industry stands on the brink of disaster if it continues along its destructive path of unsustainable growth and can only be saved if it learns from nature, the celebrated architect, landscape designer and disruptor Bill Bensley has warned.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 21 January 2020, 01:10PM

Mr Bensley, a highly respected designer, architect and long-standing conservationist, told an estimated 1,000 travel industry delegates at Thailand Tourism Forum (TTF) 2020 in Bangkok that now, as the world faces an unprecedented ecological emergency, they must change their ways if they want to survive, said a release by TTF organisers issued today (Jan 21).

Under the theme, “BANG BANG”, TTF 2020 was held at the InterContinental Hotel Bangkok yesterday (Jan 20). The event was a “high-impact, quickfire two-hour stage event that focuses on the critical issues facing Thailand’s tourism and hospitality industries”, explained the release.

Joining Mr Bensle on stage was Jesper Palmqvist, Area Director for Asia Pacific at hotel-industry analysts and benchmarking company STR.

Among those also taking to the stage were Bonn Paramacharoenroj, Associate Director of Business Development for YOO Worldwide, who urged Thailand to cash in on the cannabis tourism revolution, and Khongchanok (A-care) Paepipatmongkol, Innovation Project Manager at Fuchsia MuangThai Life Assurance, who discussed cross-industry collaboration, and how the Thai tourism industry can enhance the customer experience by working with other industries.

Driving the conversation, however, was Bensley, who shook up the crowd with his vision for 2050. “The key question is: do you want your children and grandchildren to live on a scorched planet, where the forests have been destroyed, the sea is full of plastic, the air is poisonous and wildlife has collapsed? Or do you want to work towards a fresher future, where buildings breathe, everything we eat is organic and the natural world flourishes? You decide…,” he said.

 To help hoteliers and developers embark on their path towards a cleaner tomorrow, Mr Bensley also used TTF 2020 to launch his white paper “Sensible Sustainable Solutions”, which includes a series of practical ideas and suggestions on how to make hotel business greener and help fight climate change.

STR’s Mr Palmqvist revealed the data behind the decisions; according to STR there are more than 50,000 new hotel rooms on the way in Thailand, including 15,000 in Bangkok alone.

Diamond Resort Phuket

“This development surge will put huge pressure on land and resources in the country. A series of other young speakers, including Khun Bonn and Khun A-care, highlighted how niche tourism concepts can help Thailand achieve positive and sustainable growth, in line with the world’s top social and traveller trends,” said the release.

“What will the world look like in 2050? It is a question we ask a lot, without seriously considering the answer. But this is no longer some distant future; 2050 is as close as 1990, and considering the widespread environmental destruction we have caused in the last 30 years, we need to stop greenwashing and start figuring out some real solutions. But the fact that this is such a massive problem doesn’t necessarily mean we need big solutions – we can all make a difference on a small scale. It just needs a collective will. Together we can build a better world,” said Mr Bensley.

Bonn Paramacharoenroj of YOO Worldwide urged Thailand to cash in on cannabis tourism.

“While Thailand continues to focus on the elusive target of 40 million international visitors, the industry continues to cannibalise itself by degrading and destroying the very environment that makes it so attractive. Alarm bells are ringing and we want TTF 2020 to be the wake-up call the country needs to stop it sleepwalking into disaster,” said Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, the co-organiser of TTF 2020.

 “To find the answers, we’ve welcomed 10 next-gen Thai hotel professionals to deliver quickfire ‘Bang Bang’ thoughts on what future trends will drive the growth of Thailand’s tourism market. Bricks and clicks are all well and good, but what elevates the Thai brand is its human capital. We want to spark a candid, no-holds-barred debate.” 

TTF 2020 marked the ninth annual edition of the industry event, jointly hosted by The American Chamber of Commerce – Thailand (AMCHAM) and C9 Hotelworks. For more information about TTF 2020, visit www.thailandtourismforum.com

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Christy Sweet | 28 January 2020 - 12:54:43

Once the ocean's acidity causes mass plankton die-offs, which looks to be already happening-  O2 levels will plummet and   we'll all have a  lot more pressing concerns than petty slights. 
Glad to not be any younger....

DeKaaskopp | 27 January 2020 - 17:02:54

@Timy. I agree.Finally you got it right.I hope your message reaches all those K's outside there.

Sir Burr | 27 January 2020 - 15:37:01

....and your post was relevant to the Thai Tourist Industry how? You didn't even mention it.

Christy Sweet | 27 January 2020 - 11:36:36

Have men suddenly gone asexual? Please elaborate  on the argument men will stop traveling to Thailand for sex when the environment is ruined. 

Timothy | 27 January 2020 - 09:28:08

It quite amazing how the same small group of serial commenters on here can read article after article and yet can never think of anything intelligent to say about those articles and issues....Over and over again they have to post useless comments, name calling, insults, ridicule other commentators but  never anything to do with the subject or issue. 

GerryT81 | 26 January 2020 - 19:54:24

Christy and her view of the (mans) world. Always good for bursting into laughter.Apart from that nothing serious.

Christy Sweet | 25 January 2020 - 19:37:18

Not to worry, Thailand will always have its... er, "Bang Bang" industry to prop up tourism. I cannot imagine any environmental degradation that could keep men away from sexual fulfillment. 

Kurt | 21 January 2020 - 16:55:51

The Bangkok pollution, verbal exported all over the world. A Prime minister with hands in the air: 'What you want the Government to do"? The people must do. Who needs such Government? The Thailand water disaster, what would you called it when you can't farm and provide your family not a decent life? This whole disaster did develope looooong time. Was, thai wise, just ignored. 

Kurt | 21 January 2020 - 16:28:11

A very true warning, however Thai Government, including TAT, and silent ordered governors, just go for the this moment money box, called he tourist revenues. That present happenings in Thailand are carrying tourism to the grave, they not want to see it. Phuket is over, no Government pick up about normal 'non mafia' transportation. Scam and 'triple pricing' all over. 


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Tourists face arrest, jail for overstaying

Yep fair call. Tourists have known for a long time about visa renewals. Also some embassys are offer...(Read More)

Tourists face arrest, jail for overstaying

tourist being arrested for overstay, bet those headlines will have tourists flocking back, how dumb ...(Read More)

UK exempts Thais from quarantine

Kurt, Emirates from Bangkok to London 1,10 hr. stopover,return 2,10 hrs. Qatar A. Bangkok to Londo...(Read More)

Tourists face arrest, jail for overstaying

This head line would do very well outside Thailand, among the 'expected' foreign tourists to...(Read More)

Phuket light-rail bids set for mid-2020

Has the proposed bidding taken place mid 2020? And what did it bring in? When the construction star...(Read More)

UK exempts Thais from quarantine

Flights Phuket-> Dubai/Qatar ->Europe are never 'direct'. Always change plane. Transit...(Read More)

Activists end rally after submitting demands

That plaque thing lives apparently it's own life. Police start investigations about it. Many y...(Read More)

Tourists face arrest, jail for overstaying

Well this should be a warning to have or opening a business in LOS. ...(Read More)

UK exempts Thais from quarantine

@DeK, 1: I wrote 'long stop overs', not a period of time. Don't insinuate. Look at the ...(Read More)