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BANGKOK, Thailand, December 7, 2018 – The PATA Sustainability & Social Responsibility Department conducted our last PATA staff knowledge development lunch workshop of the year. This time, we dived into learning about food surplus management with the help of good friend and partner, Scholars of Sustenance (SOS) Foundation, better known as Thai-SOS. Thai-SOS is also known as the pioneer of food rescue operations in Thailand.  Representing the foundation as a guest speaker was Mr. Bruce Chen, Community Engagement Coordinator. Bruce is a recognized researcher and speaker on sustainable development programs who is determined to change the general public’s perception of food waste and surplus food as it is still a new concept in Thailand.

The world produces enough nutritional food to feed the whole population, yet there are still so many people who go to bed hungry every night. The objective of this lunch workshop was thus to help PATA staff become more aware of issues surrounding food waste, and empower them to share this new knowledge with others.

After a brief introduction about Thai-SOS, Bruce shared some staggering statistics regarding food waste in Thailand, which made everyone suddenly more conscious about the Subway sandwich they were holding in their hands. Some staff members began replacing the lettuce they had just taken out of their sandwiches!

Did you know?

  • 64% of 27.06 million tonnes (27,060 kg) of Thailand’s municipal waste is made up of food waste.
  • An average Bangkok grocery store can throw away up to 200 kg of edible food a day.
  • An average 5-star hotel buffet throws away up to 50 kgs of edible food during each service period.

Speaking of lunch, this time’s lunch got everyone excited to attend the workshop because it was from Subway. Of course, to provide lunch sustainably, we brought our own containers to pack the sandwiches, plus reusable containers to pack four types of sauces. We are proud to say that zero single-use plastics were used to provide our lunch this time around! Thank you to the staff at Subway for helping us consume consciously!

              

We had plenty of time for Q&A with Bruce so we were able to clear any doubts and make the most out of his time here. When asked what is the ultimate goal that Thai-SOS wish to achieve, Bruce said “our end goal is of course for us to run out of business because then it means people finally know it is the norm to not waste food and it is the norm not to overproduce food. But that will take us a very long time.”

At the end of the workshop, our tummies were full, our minds were filled and our souls were ready to make a change. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Thai-SOS for being such angels – for changing the world one meal at a time. To volunteer with Thai-SOS, please reach out to them here. Alternatively, you can drop us an email at SSR@pata.org.

Extra bites:

Bruce was also a guest speaker at PATA x MUIC workshop touching base about Sustainable Hospitality Businesses. Read about it here.

Read about our previous lunch workshops here.

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Credit: Shutterstock

PATA prides ourselves on our role in developing future leaders of the tourism industry by empowering youth. We have our very own Young Tourism Professional (YTP) Ambassador, Ms. JC Wong who is responsible for the career development of youths comprising of students from PATA educational institution members. On November 22, Thursday, PATA collaborated with Mahidol University International College (MUIC) to address on the topic “Sustainable Hospitality Businesses.” Five guest speakers from Dusit Thani International, SO Sofitel Bangkok, YAANA Ventures Hospitality, Winnow Solutions and Scholars of Sustenance Foundation joined us to share their experience in the industry.

Credit: MUIC

There has been an evolution in “green thought” in the hospitality businesses but there it is often a challenge to execute due to budget, resources and manpower constraints. The objective of the workshop was therefore to get young tourism professionals (YTPs) exposed, connected and involved directly with industry professionals in the contexted of the massive environmental impact of daily hospitality operations. Through the workshop, we have compiled three key take-aways on how you can adapt the right attitude to drive change towards positive hospitality.

  1. Care with a “can-do” attitude.

Showing that you care in the hospitality industry is how you can exceed customers’ expectations. This simply means going out of your way to exceed expectations by anticipating your customers’ next need. For example, try to engage with customers on a deeper level by simply remembering their names and asking for their preferences. Two teaspoons of creamer with a hint of cocoa powder for their morning coffee? Serve them the same the next morning and you’ll see their face light up as bright as the morning sun. Look at this list of personalised services provided by SO Sofitel where design meets pleasure.

  1. Co-innovate with partners.

Students who had worked part-time or interned in an F&B outlet before may have encountered superiors that told them to throw excess food away at the end of the day. The reason why surplus food is generally not donated is probably because of the threat of liability for food-related illnesses. But did you know that there are laws that protect food donors? An example is the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act where the law provides a national standard of liability protection for both food donors and the nonprofits accepting these donations.

Despite such protections, businesses may still be hesitant to participate in food donation due to the extra cost incurred by providing the logistics to transport excess food. This is why it is important to co-innovate and collaborate with partners who can fill in the gap. Organisations can reach out to food banks or food angels such as Thai-SOS, which provide their services free of charge. Read case studies and learn how sustainability champions in the hospitality sector do it.

  1. Be present

We love listening to stories that have changed people’s lives, especially those of industry professionals. One of the guest speakers, Mr. Chris Regel is an expert in sustainability consultancy because, during his days working in the kitchen, he saw the massive amount of waste generated in the kitchen and buffets. 1/3 of food produced in the world is wasted! From this experience, he committed to ending food waste in the world and is now the Business Development Manager for Winnow Solutions.

The moral of the story is that, in whatever we do, it is important to be present and conscious of our actions and of our surroundings. Reevaluate our daily tasks. Is there a way to do it more efficiently? Are the products that you’re using energy efficient? Be curious at all times and one day, you will have an inspirational story to tell too.

               

Click here to see the full profiles of the guest speakers. While you are at it, follow PATA Youth on Facebook and get in touch with our YTP Ambassador at JCWong@pata.org. Your university may be next to benefit from an insightful workshop.

If you have any questions about our sustainability initiatives, please contact our Sustainability & Social Responsibility Specialist at  Chi@pata.org or send an e-mail to SSR@pata.org.

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On October 5, 2018, PATA hosted a special staff lunch workshop conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The purpose of the workshop was to instigate behavioural change among employers, encouraging them to commit to giving decent work to domestic workers as part of the “My Fair Home” campaign. The campaign is a result of collaboration between the International Domestic Worker Federation (IDWF) and the ILO. In place since 25 September 2015 in Bangkok, the campaign is a vehicle for encouraging people and companies to create “a fair home” by following the Thai Law, and international standards regarding domestic work.

Since 1919, the ILO has aimed to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. The TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme, under which the “My Fair Home” campaign falls, works on improving conditions for migrant domestic workers across the ASEAN region.

          

At the beginning of the session, the speakers; ILO Technical Specialist, Anna Olsen together with Campaign Advisor, Aanas Ali, firstly gathered our attention to be mindful of the language used when addressing these workers:

Domestic workersnot helpers, maids or servants

Migrant workersnot alien or foreign

We learned that the majority of domestic workers are women and girls; tens and millions of women and girls are employed in a private household. They clean, cook, care for children/ elderly and perform other essential tasks for their employers. Despite their important role, they are among the most exploited and abused workers in the world.

Quick facts:

  • 40% of the world’s domestic workers are in Asia-Pacific
  • 83% of these are women.
  • 90% of migrant domestic workers in Thailand earn less than minimum wage (325 THB/day).
  • Migrant domestic workers in Thailand work on average 12 hours daily, while those with care roles work 13 hours

Our lunch again was provided by Lankaow Waan – we just can’t help but support their sustainability practices that align with PATA’s values. Just like the previous workshop the caterer provided our lunch in recyclable packaging and drinks prepared in glass bottles.

    

 

The workshop was wrapped up after an action & reflection session. PATA will continue to strengthen the understanding of human rights and human resource issues among PATA staffs and PATA members in the context of travel and tourism.

     

ILO will be back at the PATA HQ to conduct another insightful workshop exclusively for PATA members & partners. Find out how you can help your employees be responsible employers of domestic workers through this workshop. For more workshop details, please do not hesitate to contact PATA Sustainability and Social Responsibility Specialist, Chi Lo at ­­­Chi@pata.org or ILO Campaign Consultant, Aanas Ali at aanas@iloguest.org.

We encourage all individuals to support the rights of domestic workers in your home and community. Visit “My Fair Home” to take a pledge!

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In our continuing efforts to reduce waste and educate our staff, the PATA Green Team organized a workshop at our Bangkok HQ on August 7, 2018. We invited guest speakers from Tavises – Magic Eyes to conduct the workshop.

“Ah! Ah! Don’t litter. Magic Eyes are watching you” is a merry jingle many Gen X Thais are familiar with, and thanks to the efforts of this organisation, the concept will be passed down to future generations.

The speakers, Pa and Nat, introduced their organisation and their mission. They gave an overview of waste management in Thailand and discussed the 5 Rs – reduce, reuse, repair, recycle and reject – to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Pa and Nat emphasised the idea of refusing to use single-use plastics – especially plastic bags, straws and cups – proposing alternates to single use items such as tote bags instead of plastics bags, reusable tumblers, handkerchiefs instead of tissues/paper towels and reusable cutlery.

To drive the dangers of single-use plastics home, they shared some nerve-wracking facts about plastic pollution:

           

The group shared various ideas about how individuals can manage their waste properly, and how upcycling can be put into practice to give new life to items that would otherwise be thrown away. The speakers concluded their presentation with a poignant video showing humankind’s general exploitative attitude towards the planet.

Today, Lankaow Waan catered our lunch, chosen for not just their delicious food, but also for their recycled and compostable packaging.

     

Efforts made by organisations such as Tavises – Magic Eyes and Lankaow Waan will help educate the world about the benefits and importance of adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. The workshop helped put things into perspective and reminded everyone how important it is to be mindful of the decisions each one of us makes.

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#TravelEnjoyRespect

The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

 

To that end, please explore the official IY2017 website at www.tourism4development2017.org, which is their primary tool for coordinating the worldwide celebrations of the year, and on which more than 200 events and activities have already been registered. The UNWTO kindly invites you to upload your IY2017-related initiatives, as well as to share your best practices, stories and/or knowledge. Your initiatives will be visible on the website’s calendar and global map, and you will be able to use the IY2017 logo in all your communications. Kindly note that all the information they receive will be included in their final report to the UN General Assembly in 2018.

Furthermore, UNWTO is organizing a series of events and activities, the details of which you can find in the attached document. For instance, they are running a consumer-oriented awareness-raising campaign “Travel.Enjoy.Respect.” with six useful tips for responsible travel, and would very much like you to help disseminate it as broadly as possible. In addition, UNWTO is organizing 14 IY2017 Official Events, as well as producing two flagship reports related to the themes and objectives of the IY2017, for which your support and input would be more than welcome and on which more info will follow shortly. As part of their awareness-raising activities, they have also initiated a Special Ambassadors programme, currently comprising seven high-profile individuals who will help spread the relevant messages regarding tourism as an agent for positive change.

Read more: PATA Sustainability & IY2017 Initiatives

 

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Mario-Hardy-PATAMario Hardy, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), speaks with Anula Galewska about the organisation’s commitment to sustainable tourism and what Asia needs to take sustainability to the next level.

Dr. Mario Hardy is Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Dr. Hardy has close to 30 years of combined leadership, corporate development and change management experience. Prior to PATA, Mario worked 14 years for UBM/OAG a business with a focus on data analytics and events for the aviation sector and occupied several leadership roles in London, Beijing and Singapore.

ANULA: PATA actively advocates for sustainable tourism. What is your goal?

MARIO: Our aim is to educate, train and create awareness. We want to educate people from the tourism industry on practical ways of being more environmentally friendly, how they can engage with local communities, and also to inspire people to think about sustainability differently than they were thinking before.

People usually link sustainability with the environment, which of course is very important but shouldn’t be limited to it. Sustainability includes social, economic and cultural aspects, and my feeling is that we don’t address these issues enough. For example, we should educate people as to how tourism can improve the wealth of local communities.

People usually link sustainability with the environment, which of course is very important but shouldn’t be limited to it. Sustainability includes social, economic and cultural aspects, and my feeling is that we don’t address these issues enough.

By  Read the original article here.

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Elephant camps in spotlight

Picture L-R: Nicolas Dubrocard, Project Director – Wild Asia; Jeniffer Peron,  Associate for Sustainability & Social Responsibility – PATA; Naut Kusters, General Manager – Travelife.


Delegates from tour operators and travel agents in Thailand joined a PATA Tour Operator Sustainability Working Group meeting on ‘Elephant camp standards’ hosted jointly by Travelife on January 27, 2017 at the PATA Engagement Hub in Bangkok.

The workshop focused upon the importance of applying best practices across the industry when considering elephant camps as potential attractions to offer to local and international visitors. Delegates received an update from Nicolas Dubrocard from Wild Asia – a PATA sustainability partner – on the first stage of a study that examined eight elephant camps in Thailand.

PATA and Travelife for Tour Operators signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2014 designed to promote sustainable practices amongst the tour operating communities in Asia. Travelife, a Dutch not-for-profit organisation operated by ECEAT is dedicated to making holidays more sustainable by working with travel businesses around the world to help them to improve their social, economic and environmental impacts.

Businesses that prove they meet the Travelife sustainability criteria can become Travelife certified, helping them to promote their achievements to others. Read more about the PATA/Travelife partnership here.

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Intimate Letter to Mother Nature

Categories: Blog Posts
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by Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA

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“Dear Mother Nature. I’m writing to apologise on behalf of humanity and those who have contributed to your poor health. I condemn those who have done it consciously and I hope that they have started their journey towards redemption. For those committing such deeds unconsciously, and making you ill purely out of ignorance, I hope I can make a small contribution by sharing my knowledge and make them aware of how they are affecting you.

I don’t know if it’s because of the position I currently occupy or if whether it is because I have simply become more aware of my environment but in the past several months of travel I have started to notice and pay m­­­ore attention to my surroundings and the poor condition of some of our tourism destinations.
Read more

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November 2015 – The economic benefits of travel can be tremendous, but what about the environmental impact? Chloë Harvey, a marine biologist and international coordinator of Green Fins at The Reef-World Foundation, explains why the diving industry could be the key to many ecotourism solutions. PATA ConversationsRead more.

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29 April 2015 – World Tourism Organization Secretary General Taleb Rifai reveals the biggest drivers of tourism development and how they will impact communities for years to come. A Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) interview. Read more.

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