Responsible travel in the new normal:
Dusit International, Sounds of Earth, TAT and TCEB partner
to promote sustainable tourism in Thailand, demonstrate new
models for safe meetings and events in a post COVID-19 world
Unique ‘Listen to the Earth in Silence’ event at Dusit Thani
Hua Hin showcased how resorts can sustainably host events with low-impact
travel methods, considerate use of technology, community-focused activities,
and distinctive shared experiences that celebrate art, culture and the
environment while allowing for social distancing.
Bangkok, Thailand, 5 October 2020 – Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, recently partnered with silent live concert specialists Sounds of Earth, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and the Thai Chamber of Commerce to host an exclusive event designed to showcase how events and functions can be held safely, responsibly and sustainably in the new normal while delivering meaningful experiences for guests.
Called ‘Listen to the Earth in Silence’ – the exclusive event was held on Friday October 2 at Dusit Thani Hua Hin resort and was attended by travel industry specialists and high-ranking diplomats. The programme focused on low-impact, eco-friendly travel methods, community-focused activities, wellness-focused cuisine, and innovative solutions for events and functions which Dusit, the TAT and TCEB believes will be central to facilitating and encouraging responsible MICE travel in a post COVID-19 world.
In line with TCEB’s basic guidelines for sustainable events in the new normal, which includes, amongst others, the promotion of public transportation, local attractions, and locally sourced organic foods, the event began with a ‘carbon-saving’ private train journey from Bangkok, which also featured a healthy lunch expertly catered for by Dusit Events.
Upon arrival in Hua Hin, participants visited a local marine centre where they helped to release baby crabs to the wild. Staying at Dusit Thani Hua Hin, they learned about Dusit’s hybrid meeting models that facilitate small and safe gatherings while simultaneously leveraging technology for secure, reliable and instant global reach.
The demonstration included a meeting room equipped as a high-end recording, live-streaming and presentation studio with the latest audio-visual equipment for worldwide broadcasting. This included a multi-screen set up which allows for real-time interactions with remote event participants; a green screen backdrop for high-definition virtual backgrounds; and dedicated professional event specialists who are on hand to ensure swift and seamless connectivity. Similar virtual meeting solutions will be rolled out at other Dusit properties in Thailand, and will also be available for offsite functions catered for by Dusit Events.
Highlighting Dusit’s thoughtful, holistic and technology-focused approach to events, the event also featured a live-yet-silent beachside concert hosted by Sounds of Earth. Featuring music specially composed to raise awareness of the environment – both lyrically and sonically – the live performance was beamed to the audience via wireless headsets, allowing them to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a shared experience amongst nature without any noise pollution. Guests also enjoyed an exclusive dinner featuring healthy ingredients from Dusit Thani Hua Hin’s own organic gardens.
“With borders closed to international travel, and stringent regulations for social distancing in place, the tourism industry – a major economic contributor to Thailand – has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we wanted to do our part to help support hotel operators, travel agents, event organisers, and all other impacted parties by hosting an innovative travel and event experience which we hope will serve as a model for our industry’s sustainable success in a post COVID-19 world,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International.
“With mass tourism grinding to a halt during COVID-19, we have all seen with shocking clarity how much our environment had been strained by the sheer volume of visitors our destinations had previously hosted. As nature has regenerated, we have been reminded of our duty to protect the planet, not just for future generations, but also for ourselves. Put simply, we cannot return to the old way of doing things. Now is the time for the tourism industry to pause, reset and reassess the impact of our operations on the environment and work towards establishing new models that allow us to focus on quality tourism while educating and informing travellers about their responsibility too. In short, now is time to return with purpose, and we are delighted to partner with Sounds of Earth, the TAT and TCEB for this special showcase, which demonstrates our shared vision to build new foundations for sustainable tourism and environmentally friendly events in Thailand,” said Ms Suthumpun.
Renowned Thai singer and musician Mr John Rattanaveroj, founder of Sounds of Earth and an executive of Splash Interactive Company, said, “Music is a powerful medium for driving positive change – especially when it is enhanced by technology. Our new style of high-tech music events demonstrates how concerts can be held safely and sustainably in the new normal. Free from noise pollution and allowing for social distancing, Sounds of Earth’s events are kind to the environment and serve as a good model for quality, responsible tourism. We look forward to seeing our green music solution implemented at similar events in the future.”
Mr Nithee Seeprae, Executive Director for Advertising and Public Relations Department, TAT, said, “To successfully restart tourism in Thailand, it is important for everyone in our industry to share ideas for how we can bounce back more sustainably with new models for doing business focused on the triple bottom line – people, profit and planet. While we have all suffered tremendously during this crisis, we have seen significant improvements in our land and marine ecosystems, and we must nurture and protect this to build a greener, brighter future for us all. In line with our vision for a sustainable future for our industry, this event showcased some of the innovative ways we can welcome and delight visitors in the new normal while limiting our impact on the environment. We look forward to supporting more initiatives like this nationwide.”
Mr Puripan Bunnag, Director, Executive and Legal Affairs, TCEB, said, “To support the industry and promote Thailand as a safe destination for MICE, we have released several guidelines covering all aspects of hosting a meeting or event in the new normal. Arranged in line with our MICE Venue Hygiene Guidelines, the creative solutions presented at the Listen to the Earth in Silence event fully demonstrated how hotels can bring together crowds without compromising safety and well-being. We were also happy to see that, except teambuilding, the event also demonstrated six of the seven ‘Thailand 7 MICE Magnificent Themes’ we have identified for outstanding MICE products and events in the new normal – namely fascinating history and culture, exhilarating adventures, CSR activities, beach bliss, lavish luxury, and culinary journeys. By inviting ambassadors and leading industry specialists to experience this event first hand, we have demonstrated how Thailand is ready to welcome international visitors as soon as the situation allows. Sustainable, meaningful experiences like this will remain at the very top of our agenda.”
Dusit’s innovative MICE models fully embrace TCEB’s guidelines for sustainable events to ensure all processes are as environmentally friendly as possible. All Dusit Hotels and Resorts in Thailand have also been certified for Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) by TCEB.
Groupwide, Dusit has also rolled out several new services designed to offer extra convenience, experience and value across all aspects of the guest and customer journey.
This includes Dusit Care – Stay with Confidence services, which comprise, amongst others, officially certified, heightened standards of hygiene and cleanliness; flexible check-in and check-out; anytime breakfast, the introduction of mobile payment methods, and more operational enhancements designed to bring utmost peace of mind to guests.