Rapid growth of the Thai travel sector over the last decade has led to environmental and social challenges. TOURLINK aims to support the Thai travel sector to become more sustainable by providing capacity building training to tour operators and their suppliers (hotels, transport companies, activity providers), common standards and an international certification facilitating market benefits and international recognition of Thailand as a leading sustainable tourism destination.
By transforming comprehensive supply chains, a wide range of MSMEs in the tourism sector will be targeted covering several Thai SCP priorities including food processing and waste management. As a subtheme, the project will develop and implement standards and guidelines to avoid food waste and use and improper disposal of plastics among tourism MSMEs and local communities. As part of the consumer awareness activities, visibility of the project will be reached among a wide audience of stakeholders.
The main project objective is to promote inclusive sustainable growth, to contribute to the economic prosperity and poverty reduction in Thailand, the development of a green economy and the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy. Specific objectives include:
- Adopt sustainable production and consumption (SCP) practices among MSMEs promoting less polluting and more resource efficient products, processes and services in the Thai tourism sector;
- Replicate previously demonstrated SCP practices throughout the supply chain of tourism MSMEs in a business-led approach and increasing access to green financing;
- Promote SCP practices in the tourism sector at national scale;
- Increase awareness on SCP in the tourism sector, distilling knowledge from the project for replication in the Asian region;
- Promote the economic value of SCP in the tourism sector interaction between MSMEs and finance institutions is facilitated;
- Address sustainable supply chain management and facilitate the integration of MSMEs into the tourism supply chain through sustainability reporting, labelling and certification;
- Support sustainable consumption and consumer awareness on SCP specifically for tourists and international tourism agencies in Thailand;
- Support existing regional fora (e.g. ASEAN, Pacific Asia Travel Association, Asian Ecotourism Network) on tourism and SCP enhancing policy dialogue in Asia.
The Way Forward
- The Thai tourism sector has implemented supply chain methodologies which have moved MSME’s towards adaptation and replication of SCP practices, greener products creating competitive advantages;
- Sustainable Tourism is promoted in communities and consumer awareness on sustainability choices in Thailand has increased.
Relation to European Green Deal, Circular Economy and Climate Change
The project is supporting the external dimension of EU policies that promote inclusive sustainable growth and a green economy through the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy.