A research team at Walailak University is driving carbon-neutral tourism in Krabi province, following the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy model. They are developing products, services, and activities to help reduce and compensate for carbon footprints from tourism, with the goal of making Krabi a carbon-neutral province by 2040.
Assistant Professor Dr. Pimlapas Pongsakornrungsilp, the head of the Center of Excellence for Tourism Management and Creative Economy at Walailak University, revealed that the university's research team is collaborating with both the public and private sectors, tourism communities, and tourists, to drive the research on "Developing Carbon-Neutral Tourism in Krabi Province and Connected Areas". The team aims to study and evaluate the carbon footprint of tourism, analyze the Thai and foreign markets to develop products and services that support tourism, and create a network for collaborative efforts to calculate, reduce, and compensate for the carbon emissions generated by tourism.
Assistant Professor Dr. Pimlapas said that carbon-neutral tourism is a form of tourism that reduces energy consumption and carbon emissions. It provides an opportunity for tourists to experience the way of life and cultural heritage of the local community, learn from nature, live a simple and environmentally friendly lifestyle, and create sustainable income for the community. Researchers from Walailak University have implemented carbon-neutral tourism activities in several communities in Krabi, including Ban Nai Nang, Thung Yi Peng, Ban Laem Sak, Koh Klang, Huay Nam Khao, Khlong Thom, and Ban Na Tin. These carbon-neutral tourism activities have been integrated into tourism programs and have gained a lot of interest from European and Scandinavian tourists.
Achieving carbon-neutral tourism requires conducting carbon footprint assessments to set goals for decreasing carbon emissions, particularly in transportation and waste management, which have a significant influence on carbon emissions. It is essential to implement carbon reduction measures that align with the Krabi Declaration consistently. Following the reduction, compensation is necessary, and tourism management stakeholders can exchange their organization's Earth Point scores for carbon credits to offset emissions. To promote the Krabi Carbon Neutral Tourism 2040 campaign, both national and provincial networks must work together.
"Our team at Walailak University would like to thank Program Management Unit for Competitiveness (PMUC) for their support of research funding, as well as the Krabi Governor’s Office, Tourism Authority of Thailand Krabi Office, Tourism Council of Krabi, Krabi Hotel Association, Krabi Tourism Association, and Krabi Community-based Tourism Association, who collaborated in developing research objectives and plans to drive research towards practical application, promoting strategic industry development and laying the foundation for economic development under the concepts of BCG Economy Model," said Assistant Professor Dr. Pimlapas.
Photos by the Center of Excellence for Tourism Management and Creative Economy
Article by Theeraphong Nooplod
Translated and edited by Settaboot Onphakdee
Division of Corporate Communication