PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism) 2019 was an innovative event, rallying people to the same cause, which is sustainability!
I was part of the expert panel, and we had thematic discussions covering topics that included hotel sustainability, global trends on sustainability, and so on. It was an excellent opportunity to share what some of us have been able to achieve so far and also reflect on what can be done better.
Some of the questions triggered deep thinking, and others reinforced what I think is already working well. Overall I found it to be a conference worth attending.
I did promise my Linkedin tribe that I would be sharing my key takeaways and the best parts that made it memorable for me, so here are a few of them.
• A great, informal, and inviting set-up that was very well thought out.
The set up was informal but very professional. People felt part of it, convinced and inspired. Truth be told, there was a tiny part of me that wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know if I would end up in a room full of tree huggers. However, my experience was far from it. I was surrounded by environmentalists who couldn’t care less about any kind of politics and simply want to achieve something together in an industry that is faced with significant issues of today and tomorrow.
• Great opportunity for in-depth dialogues with exhibitors.
For self-serving purposes, I was able to walk around and meet exhibitors, which was very useful as it enabled me to follow up on certain classified projects that I’m working on.
• Genuine connections and networking:
One of the things I enjoyed about the conference was the energy. People were very engaged and open to connecting with each other. Many of the folks there were people I already knew, so it was great to meet again. But I also met lots of people for the first time and enjoyed listening to their perspectives, ideas, and how they’ve overcome challenges.
• Sharing best practices and focusing on social impact:
The event was rallying the hotel industry, but more importantly, I liked the way the discussion was about the social impact on the younger generation. Nobody was praising on what they are doing best, simply sharing tangible best practices.
• Destination marketing:
Something that I was less involved in, which was also very memorable, was destination marketing towards sustainable touristic destinations. I learned a practical approach to sustainability among hotel businesses, how to promote local collaborations and use high-tech management systems to support sustainability. Suffice it to say I took lots of notes during that session.
It’s excellent to see how the association has come together to position themselves for the future of the Island. I am very grateful to have been included in the event and congratulate the team that organized it for a job well done.
We definitely need more events like this not just in Phuket but in other regions of Thailand and more certainly around the world.