BANGKOK, 22 January 2020: Thailand’s tourism industry stands on the brink of disaster if it continues along its destructive path of unsustainable growth, a leading expatriate architect, Bill Bensley, told 1,000 travel executives attending the annual Thailand Tourism Forum on Monday.
As the world faces an unprecedented climate emergency, the ever blunt Bensley told travel industry delegates that they must change their ways if they want to survive.
Bensley used TTF2020 to launch his white paper, “Sensible Sustainable Solutions”. His white paper includes a series of practical ideas and suggestions on how to make hotel business greener and help fight climate change.
Commenting on his vision for 2050 he said: “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”.
But he was addressing an industry that is famed for having its head in the sand. while embarking on unsustainable expansion.
STR hotel pipeline data released at the forum showed more than 50,000 new hotel rooms on the way in Thailand, including 15,000 in Bangkok alone. This development surge will put huge pressure on land and resources in the country.
“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,” Bensley concluded.