Agoda partners with Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Agoda, a global digital travel platform, has partnered with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to support hotels in Thailand develop sustainable tourism practices. Agoda and the GSTC are pleased to announce the continuation of the successful collaboration in organizing the Sustainable Tourism Course. Following the achievements of the previous courses conducted in Singapore and Taiwan, this third installment brings together Agoda, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS), and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in Bangkok, Thailand. The course takes place at the Agoda Office in Bangkok on July 3 and 4, hosting a number of tourism professionals from Agoda`s partner hotels.

Damien Pfirsch, Chief Commercial Officer, Agoda said, “We are excited to announce the continuation of our partnership with the GSTC and our collaborative efforts with the MOTS and TAT in hosting this course in Thailand. Our shared goal is to equip hotel professionals in Thailand with the necessary knowledge and skills to embrace sustainable tourism practices, empowering them to transform their businesses and foster a more sustainable future for tourism in Thailand.”

Sustainable Tourism Course is designed to assist hotel participants in their pursuit of sustainability targets through in-depth content provided by the GSTC. This course incorporates real-world examples of best practices from various destinations, tour operators, and accommodation providers worldwide. It enables participants to better understand the intent and indicators of the GSTC Criteria, and prepares them to develop and implement viable and actionable sustainable tourism policies and practices for their organization and the destinations they operate in, thereby paving the way to be GSTC-certified* moving forward.

Upon successful course completion, participants receive a certificate of completion and become eligible to take an optional official exam to obtain the GSTC Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism. Both the course and the optional professional certificate contribute to meeting the Staff Engagement Criteria A4 of the GSTC Industry Criteria for Hotels, which requires staff to hold certificates and qualifications in relevant disciplines and skills.

Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer at GSTC said “We’re pleased to launch our Sustainable Tourism Course in Bangkok in partnership with Agoda. Our aim is to equip professionals in the industry with the knowledge, tools, and strategies necessary to transform their businesses. We believe that through education, collaboration, and implementation, we can together redefine the narrative of tourism and turn it into a true force for good. At GSTC, we’re committed to fostering this change, one professional at a time, one course at a time.”

From left to right: Mongkon Wimonrat, Assistant Permanent Secretary at MOTS, Damien Pfirsch, Chief Commercial Officer, Agoda,. Nithee Seeprae, Deputy Governor for Digitalization, Research and Development at TAT and CB Ramkumar, Vice-Chair of GSTC

Mongkon Wimonrat, Assistant Permanent Secretary at MOTS said “We are thrilled by this initiative and the potential of this partnership between Agoda and GSTC.  Such progressive vision is certain to benefit Thailand’s hotel industry.”

Nithee Seeprae, Deputy Governor for Digitalization, Research and Development at TAT said “In our sustainability journey, today we stand at a crossroads of innovation and conservation, determined to steer our industry towards a sustainable path. We believe sharing best practices and equipping the industry with the right tools and frameworks is the best way to make collective progress in this area. This program is an example for how the industry can address this complex issue with carefully designed initiatives that look to address challenges individually.”

Agoda officially joined the GSTC as a member in 2019, and in 2022, it took the lead as the first global online travel agency to partner with the GSTC and offer the Sustainable Tourism Course to its hotel partners.

*Note: GSTC-certified is a shortened version of certified to the GSTC Criteria by a GSTC Accredited Certification Body, which can also be referred to as an accredited certification.

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