PHUKET, 26 September 2019: PHIST 2019 convened on Phuket island, Tuesday, bringing together hoteliers to tackle the critical environmental and pollution issues facing resort destinations across the region.
Now in its second year, PHIST attracted 1,000 delegates at the all-day event hosted at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa.
PHIST is the brainchild of the Phuket Hotels Association, C9 Hotelworks and Greenview.
It claims to be a forum to generate fresh ideas and “fostering a spirit of cooperation to deal with climate change issues”, but it was noteworthy that parts of Phuket were blanketed in smog from forest fires burning in Indonesia throughout the day the event convened.
Topics covered destination management, development, ocean health, over-tourism, hotel operations and community tourism. There was also a series of practical workshops for green champions, hotel developers and social enterprises with an exhibition area showcasing green solutions, allowing hoteliers to interact with eco-suppliers. Most of the fanfare focused on banning plastic bottles one of the easiest of paths to follow for those wishing to greenwash their hotel activities.
This year’s PHIST also celebrated the launch of the Great Big Green Hotel Guide, an important collaboration between the 74 members of the Phuket Hotels Association. The guide serves as a practical user manual for hotels in resort destinations all across Asia with real-time case studies.
“PHIST is becoming one of the most important events on the tourism calendar. Climate change, plastic pollution, environmental degradation; these are issues that affect us all, and they are felt even more profoundly in island communities like Phuket,” said Anthony Lark, President of the Phuket Hotels Association. “The only way to tackle these problems is through a collective approach; by working together, we can make a difference. The release of the Great Big Green Hotel Guide is one of the ways the industry is crafting long-term, workable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”