The PHIST Forum 2018 will take place on Monday, Sept 24 at the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa and is co-organised by C9 Hotelworks and Greenview, respected consultants to the regional hospitality industry.
The innovative eco-focused event will bring together Southeast Asia’s key tourism and hospitality stakeholders – particularly those operating in island destinations – to explore solutions to Southeast Asia’s most pressing environmental issues.
“Island tourism in Southeast Asia is at a critical juncture; we simply cannot continue overlooking the impacts,” said Eric Ricaurte, Founder & CEO of Greenview.
“Risks are real and sustainability must be the driving force behind future growth. But how do we change and adapt to the challenges we face, then catalyse solutions across the region? Education is the key and PHIST will create a forum for positive action,” he added.
The PHIST forum is of particular relevance to hotels in tourist island hotspots such Phuket, Bali, Boracay and Koh Samui, as well as up-and-coming destinations like Phu Quoc. The program will feature a series of expert panels, themed talks, technical workshops and roundtable discussions covering topics such as sustainable operations, destination development, ocean health, corporate sustainability, community tourism, and effective responses to over-tourism.
The event is expecting 500 delegates from around the Asia region, raising awareness and driving change within the industry. Due to the importance of the topics, all the sessions will be free to attend.
“Environmental destruction is a crisis without borders and the hospitality industry needs to collaborate, find answers, and come up with a regional action plan,” said Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks.
“We can literally use PHIST to fight for our sustainable survival,” he added.
In line with the organisation’s solutions-oriented approach, the Phuket Hotels Association will use PHIST 2018 as an opportunity to showcase its ‘People.Planet.Phuket’ campaign, which aims to educate local island communities and visitors about the importance of the ‘Three Rs’ – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
The campaign brings together 70+ member hotels in an education initiative targeting Phuket’s schools, designed to promote environmental protection and support. The community-based programme uses specially created anime characters, including ‘The Phist’, a school teacher-turned-superhero who fights and defeats polluting enemies like plastic straws, plastic bottles and oil waste in the ocean.
“Sustainability is the most vital issue facing the tourism and hospitality industries across Southeast Asia in the 21st Century. Action must be taken now to ensure the future viability of destinations in this beautiful region. Through PHIST, we aim to provide hoteliers and stakeholders with the knowledge and tools they need to face the challenges,” said Anthony Lark, President of Phuket Hotels Association.
PHIST is supported by major tourism organisations, including the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thailand Convention and Events Bureau (TCEB) as well as the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (AUSTCHAM).
Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong will open the event, and high-level speakers will include Neil Jacobs; Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures; Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks; and Eric Ricaurte, founder & CEO of Greenview, sustainability consultants for the hospitality industry.
Several major hotel groups have already signed up for PHIST, including Anantara, IHG, Hyatt and Marriott International. Other global organisations in attendance will include the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the World Bank, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The forum will also include a Green Suppliers’ Exhibition.
To learn more about PHIST, visit Phist.PhuketHotelsAssociation.com.