Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism Forum 2018 (PHIST) saw over 550 tourism professionals from around Asia head to the JW Marriott Mai Khao in Phuket, to debate key issues regarding island sustainability and agree to #fight4phuket.

Supported by the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, PHIST is the largest hospitality event dedicated to sustainability in Asia, where over 550 delegates from various countries including Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Leading hotels and tourism groups signed the “Phuket Pledge” establishing a model for the future development of islands throughout Asia. The pledge holds sustainability as a core value and sets urgent goals for long-term change. The Phuket Pledge is a commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling single-use plastic in Phuket with the aim to eradicate it in all hotels and resorts. In addition, the stake-holders vowed to undertake a youth community education programmed to ensure grassroots awareness of the critical problems surrounding plastic usage on the island.

“Plastic reduction has been at the core of our company sustainability efforts for over a decade,” said Six Senses Hotels Resorts and Spas President Bernhard Bohnenberger. “The industry is finally waking up to this issue, but we need coordination and action to make tangible change and see results. This is what we hope PHIST will go a long way to achieving.”

“We need to fight for Phuket. It is as simple as that. And we can’t do it alone. We need to do it together,” said Phuket Hotel Association President and Managing Director of Trisara, Anthony Lark. “We have worked to build an inclusive coalition of public and private sector tourism groups who understand the critical need to act and think long term. We hope the Phuket Pledge will be a start and ultimately become a model for us and other islands regionally to come together for the sake of sustainable island tourism in Asia.”