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Phuket selected to host the Global Sustainable Tourism Conference 2026

Phuket Selected to Host GSTC 2026_2

Phuket wins bid to host the 2026 Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), spotlighting its commitment to sustainable MICE tourism.

Thailand announced a remarkable win when world-renowned Phuket was selected to host a leading global event “2026 Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC 2026)”, making a milestone of the city in becoming an international hub of sustainable tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions).

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is the main organization in the bidding which is undertaken in cooperation with Phuket Province, Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation (STDF), Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA).

Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, TCEB President, said the achievement is strong evidence of close cooperation among TCEB and stakeholders, particularly Phuket as one the first MICE Cities of Thailand. Through winning the bid to host GSTC 2026, Phuket puts a mark for Thailand’s MICE industry and sustainability on the global stage.

Hosting GSTC 2026 in Phuket is a great victory of Thailand, setting a significant milestone for its sustainable tourism and MICE industries. TCEB believes that the bureau’s partnership with Phuket in destination marketing, attracting global events, upgrading MICE infrastructure and manpower, product development and undertaking sustainable initiatives will be strong fundamentals for the upcoming GSTC 2026,” Mr. Chiruit said.

The GSTC 2026 is scheduled in April 2026 under the theme of “Regenerative Tourism”. The conference and seminar will convene global and local tourism experts in advancing sustainable tourism and travel. More than 700 participants from 60 countries are expected from state agencies, hotels, tourism and MICE industries, online travel agencies, education institutions, development organizations, non-governmental organizations and other sectors. The global conference is expected to generate over 50 million baht in revenue.

Mr. Sophon Suwannarat, Phuket Governor, thanked all state, private and civil sectors, involved organizations and Thai people for supporting Phuket’s bid proposal to host GSTC 2026. “It is a great opportunity of Phuket to increase confidence of Thailand in global stage. The win is in accordance with the plan to elevate Phuket to be a global sustainable tourism destination by the year 2027. This will be undertaken through reduction of greenhouse gases emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, and waste management, which will be beneficial and supportive of the future achievement in sustainable tourism development,” he said.

Phuket Province is ready to be the host of GSTC 2026. With our current available infrastructure including airport, hotels and other global standard facilities, all together with our unique local culture identity, we are ready to welcome GSTC members and visitors from around the world to Phuket,” Governor Narong said.

Mr. Bhummikitti Raktaengam, President of Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation (STDF), said,  “The foundation has a strong will to enhance the implementation of sustainable tourism and travel in Thailand at a practical level. This can be carried out through the strategic master plan that emphasizes cooperation between the tourism business and the public sector. The particular areas of cooperation are the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, proper waste management and adaptation of tourism business sector to the pressures and challenges from global climate change factors, which are affecting more and more the execution of tourism-related laws and regulations of many countries.”

Hosting GSTC 2026 can count as the beginning of a journey to sustainable tourism of Phuket, Andaman region and Thailand. For Phuket in particular, it is a first practical step to be the global sustainable tourism destination, STDF’s President said.

Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said that hosting GSTC 2026 will show tourists around the world the level of importance Thailand is giving to environment conservation and protection. This will increase confidence and create a better image of Thailand’s tourism products and services, particularly among “high quality tourists” from Europe, America, Australia and also quality groups from Asia. They are TAT’s main target groups who have significantly high concern on environment.

Moreover, Thailand’s hosting of GSTC 2026 will be one of the integration models among governmental sector, private sector and civil society in driving the government’s policy targeting Thailand as an international hub of MICE tourism, TAT Governor said.

Gp. Capt. Athikhun Kongmee, Director-General of Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) or DASTA, congratulated Thailand, especially Phuket, for being the selected host of GSTC 2026. Thailand and Phuket will benefit significantly from the gathering of experienced participants and persons with knowledge resources in sustainable tourism from around the world.

For DASTA, he said, it has long adopted Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria as the fundamental guideline for sustainable tourism development in each of its designated areas as well as exchanging body of knowledge with expert network of Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).  DASTA is currently making an achievement in developing internationally-recognized prototype of tourism destination. Thus, DASTA hopes that hosting GSTC 2026 in Phuket will help spotlight a stronger image of Thailand’s sustainable tourism in the global stage.

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