WTTC Tourism Leaders Plant Hundreds of Trees in Bangkok’s ‘Green Lung’
Bangkok, Thailand—April 28, 2017—Approximately 100 attendees from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in Bangkok planted 400 mangrove trees today in Bang Krachao, Bangkok’s ‘green lung’ across the Chao Phraya River from the Thai capital.
The attendees seek to draw attention to environmental issues and pressure to develop one of the last green areas of the city. The greening effort is being led by the non-profit organization Tourism Cares, which unites the tourism industry to give back to host communities and is collaborating with the WTTC to host the program.
“It’s an important day,” said Gerald Lawless, WTTC chairman. “One where we can personally demonstrate and inspire others by showing we are hands on, caring and engaged and leaving a positive contribution to the city of Bangkok.”
The Royal Forestry Department, Kasetsart University and petroleum company PTT last year launched a three-year plan to enhance public green spaces and ensure at least 60% of the area remains green. However, changing Bangkok lifestyles and developers offering to pay high prices for land mean that pressure to sell is immense.
“Our volunteers can be proud that the tree plantings will help improve Bangkok’s environment,” said Derek Hydon, chairman of Tourism Cares, “We’ll reduce the carbon footprint of the WTTC summit and significantly support the villagers of Bang Krachao who trade the fruit from the trees with others in the village.”
Increasing numbers of the Thai capital’s walkers, cyclists and kayakers use Bang Krachao — a five-minute ferry ride from Bangkok — as a convenient escape to nature. The eco-friendly solar powered Bangkok Tree House hotel in eastern Bang Krachao is indicative of how sustainable tourism is now popular in the area and could help keep Bang Krachao green.
WTTC members experienced—and worked in— the area today.
“I think WTTC tourism leaders are pleasantly surprised by the wonderful orchards, canals and rural walkways that we have on the doorstep of downtown Bangkok,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures, a local sustainable tourism facilitator helping Tourism Cares organize the summit’s volunteer event.
“Bang Krachao is Bangkok’s last oasis of calm, home to hundreds of bird and plant species. The pressure to pave it over in the name of development is immense. We should keep it green. Our tree planting is a small step in that direction,” said Niemeijer.
The planting project is made possible by The Travel Corporation, World Travel & Tourism Council, Intrepid, MaCher, Marriott, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, Amadeus, Rovia and Yaana Ventures.
About Tourism Cares
Tourism Cares, Inc., a US 501(c)(3) public charity, maximizes travel’s potential to be a global force for good by leveraging the care that travellers and the industry feel for the places we love. We unite the travel industry to make a greater impact on shared priorities, and to help each company fulfil its giving goals. Together, with leading travel and tourism companies and associations, we make a greater difference on three shared issues: helping destinations in need, supporting our workforce, and improving our corporate social responsibility. Learn more at www.TourismCares.org and @TourismCares.
About YAANA Ventures
YAANA Ventures is an owner, partner and operator of entrepreneurial travel and hospitality ventures in Asia. YAANA distinguishes itself by sharing real experiences that are grounded in the cultural richness of Asia. The company is the champion of the triple bottom-line: it empowers its ventures with the values to nurture the people with whom it works. Visit yaana-ventures.com.