Responsible TourismPhuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism event will go ahead in virtual form, with participants encouraged to donate to efforts to educate Thai schoolchildren on sustainability.

Making a good PHIST of sustainable tourism

The free-to-join PHIST 2020 will focus on the new era of responsible travel in a post-Covid world.
The free-to-join PHIST 2020 will focus on the new era of responsible travel in a post-Covid world.

Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism, better known as PHIST, will take to the virtual space for the 2020 edition of its annual sustainable travel and hospitality event.

Over 1,200 industry members are expected to attend this virtual event on September 7, which will run from 9am to 6.30pm featuring keynote addresses, interactive sessions, educational workshops and a green exhibition.

Like the two previous editions of PHIST in Phuket, the organisers hope the fast-paced, high-energy event will challenge the status quo and drive the agenda for environmental action.

Focusing on the new era of travel and hospitality in a post-Covid-19 world, PHIST 2020 will include talks from trailblazing figures on the latest travel trends, the dynamic shift away from mass markets, strategies to conserve natural attractions, the quantification of green travel, farm-to-fork dining, green meetings and corporate sustainability for small hotels.

There will an interactive “Virtual Green Groove” exhibition showcasing eco products and services from tech providers, and plenty of digital networking opportunities with speakers, experts and other delegates, according to the event organisers.

This year’s keynote speaker is Bill Bensley, creative director at Bensley and the mastermind behind many of Asia’s most eclectic and eye-catching properties. He will discuss the subject of sustainable hotels in his own inimitable style. Bensley will be joined by eminent marine biologist Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat, who helped to save Thailand’s Maya Bay from ecological disaster; the CEOs of two leading luxury hotel groups, Neil Jacobs of Six Senses Hotels, Resorts & Spas and James Riley of Mandarin Oriental; Anthony Lark, president of the Phuket Hotels Association, and many others.

“This time last year, nobody could have imagined the situation we now find ourselves in. COVID-19 has turned the industry on its head, but every crisis creates opportunities and this situation could spur a revolution in sustainable travel,” said PHIST co-founder Bill Barnett. “At PHIST 2020, we will see how travel industry is rising to the challenge and using green solutions to solve our manmade problems.”

PHIST 2020 is organised by the Phuket Hotels Association, Greenview and C9 Hotelworks, with support from the American Chamber of Commerce Thailand, QUO and Delivering Asia Communications. Attendance is free, including sessions, the exhibition and networking with pre-registration required.

This year, participants are also being encouraged to donate during registration to the Phuket Hotels Association’s Green Planet Learning Hub initiative, which will teach environmental practices to over 5,000 Thai schoolchildren per year.

More information about PHIST 2020 can be found at

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