25 April 2024 – Thailand announced its remarkable winning of being hosted a leading global event, the 2026 Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC 2026), flagship Phuket as international hub of sustainable tourism and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) as well as enhance its economic corridor potential of the 6 Andaman provinces for future tourism industrial growth.

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) (TCEB) as main organization in cooperation with Phuket Province, Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation (STDF), Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) (DASTA) had announced its great wining over bid proposal to host the 2026 Global Sustainable Tourism Conference (GSTC 2026) in April 2026 in Phuket.

Mr.Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of TCEB – main organization of this bid proposal – congratulated Phuket Province in achieving flagship Thailand on global stage through being hosted GSTC 2026, a new milestone for Thailand’s tourism particularly Phuket to be the hub of sustainable tourism and MICE in the future.

“Being hosted GSTC 2026 at Phuket province is a great victory of Thailand, setting a significant milestone for its sustainable tourism and showing potential of Phuket as well as the 6 Andaman Wellness Economic Corridor (AWC) provinces (Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga, Ranong, Trang and Satun) in order to step into the world’s sustainable tourism and MICE hub with global recognition in the future,” Mr.Chiruit said.

The GSTC 2026 is scheduled to organized in April 2026 under the theme of “Regenerative Tourism”, the conference and seminar to enhance sustainable tourism by gathering of global and local tourism experts aiming for participation and support of sustainable tourism and travel. More than 700 participations from 60 countries are expected from state authorities, hotels, tourism companies, online travel agencies, education institutions, development organizations, non-governmental organizations and other sectors, expecting to generate over Bt50 million revenue. 

Mr.Sophon Suwannarat, Phuket Governor, expressed thank you to all state, private and civil sectors, involved organizations and Thai people for supporting Phuket Province’s bid proposal to host GSTC 2026. It is the great opportunity of Phuket to increase confidence of Thailand in global stage, through hosting GSTC 2026, in accordance of plan to enhance Phuket to be global sustainable tourism by the year 2027, by heading for reduction of greenhouse gases emissions particularly carbon dioxide and waste management which will be benefit and support the achievement of sustainable tourism development in the future, 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 either GSTC members or visitors from around the world to Phuket,” Governor Narong said.

Mr.Bhummikitti Raktaengam, president of Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation (STDF), said the foundation has strong will to enhance implementation of sustainable tourism and travel in Thailand at practical level, through the strategic master plan that emphasis on cooperation between tourism business and public sector particularly in carbon dioxide emission’s reduction, proper waste management and adaptation of tourism business sector towards pressures and challenging from global climate change factor of which more and more affecting from implementation of tourism-related law and regulations of many countries.

This hosting of GSTC 2026 could count as the beginning of a journey to sustainable tourism of Phuket, Andaman and Thailand and also being a first practical step to enhance Phuket to be the global sustainable tourism destination, STDF’s president said.

Ms.Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said that the GSTC 2026’s hosting will show tourists around the world how important Thailand giving to environment conservation and protection, of which would increase confidence and better image of Thailand’s tourism products and services particularly to the “high quality tourists” from Europe, America, Australia and also the quality groups from Asia, the main target group of TAT whom significantly high concerns on environment.

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

Gp,Capt. Athikhun Kongmee, director of Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) or DASTA, congratulated Thailand especially Phuket province of being hosted GSTC 2026 as either Thailand or Phuket will benefit significantly from the gathering of experienced and knowledge resources person in sustainable tourism from around the world.

For DASTA, he said, it has long adopted Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC0 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) and currently achieving in developing tourism destination prototype with international recognition. Thus, DASTA does hopefully that the GSTC 2026 hosting of Phuket province this time will help emphasize and enhance Thailand’s sustainable tourism image stronger in the global stage, DASTA’s Director said.