Thailand Showcases Commitment to a Greener Future: Phuket to Host Global Sustainable Tourism Conference in 2026

Phuket, Thailand, has been selected to host the prestigious Global Sustainable Tourism Conference (GSTC) in April 2026. This announcement marks a significant milestone for Thailand’s strong commitment to sustainable tourism practices and positions Phuket as a leader in the field.

The decision by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to hold their global congress in Phuket underscores Phuket’s position as a forefront sustainable destination in Thailand. Phuket Province, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation (STDF), The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai people are honored to be a part of the global sustainable efforts.

As Thailand advances towards sustainable development, this selection reflects TAT’s commitment to Sustainable Tourism Goals (STGs), which align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One key strategy is to promote low-carbon tourism and implement climate action initiatives to ensure sustainability. Phuket’s thriving sustainable tourism movement exemplifies this commitment.

“The GSTC 2026’s hosting will show tourists around the world how important Thailand is giving to environment conservation and protection, of which would increase confidence and better image of Thailand’s tourism products and services particularly to the “high quality tourists” from Europe, America, Australia and also the quality groups from Asia, the main target group of TAT whom significantly high concerns on environment.”  says Ms.Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)

The conference anticipates more than 700 participants from 60 countries, including sustainability experts and stakeholders from the travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors. GSTC 2026’s theme, “Regenerative Tourism,” aligns perfectly with Phuket’s sustainable master plan through three key initiatives: carbon offsetting, reducing food waste and becoming a low-carbon destination.

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, a main organization of GSTC 2026 and Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation was present during the GSTC 2024 ceremony in Stockholm Sweden on 25 April 2024:

“Being hosted GSTC 2026 at Phuket province is a great victory of Thailand, setting a significant milestone for its sustainable tourism and showing potential of Phuket as well as the 6 Andaman Wellness Economic Corridor (AWC) provinces (Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga, Ranong, Trang and Satun) in order to step into the world’s sustainable tourism and MICE hub with global recognition in the future,”, says Mr.Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of TCEB

“This hosting of GSTC 2026 could count as the beginning of a journey to sustainable tourism of Phuket, Andaman and Thailand and also being a first practical step to enhance Phuket to be the global sustainable tourism destination.” says Mr. Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation (STDF)

Phuket is Thailand’s largest and most popular island located in Southern Thailand on the Andaman Sea coastline, featuring 36 stunning beaches. The island is at 6th place on the list of the top 10 most popular destinations in Asia surveyed by Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards Best of the Best 2024.

-Fact Sheet- About the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)The GSTC is a leading international organization that promotes sustainable tourism practices. The organization’s Criteria sets the global standard for sustainable travel and destination management. Thailand’s Journey of Sustainable TourismThailand has set ambitious climate goals, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065. To achieve this, the country plans to peak emissions by 2025 and significantly increase renewable energy use in electricity, reaching 68% by 2040 and 74% by 2050.The Thai Cabinet has set the Third National Tourism Development Plan (2023-2027) which included many agendas, with “sustainability” being one of the main agendas that required attention. The plan also set a comprehensive vision for development and driving tourism within five years “Rebuilding High Value Tourism Industry with Resilience, Sustainability and Inclusive Growth” with the main sustainability-related goal being sustainable development through the promotion of tourism industry sustainability based on the abundance of natural resources, environment, social and community identity, culture, and effective tourist management. The goals are included in the Fourth Strategy: Promotion of Sustainable Tourism Development to ensure a concrete execution of the plan. Furthermore, the government appoints the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization), as another mechanism to set a policy and integrate with relevant authorities to develop sustainable tourism areas as a model for systematic sustainable tourism development in accordance with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria and GSTC.