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Pacific Asia Watch
Exhibition Industry Commits To Viable Sustainable Development Practices

Eric Everard
, President of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, addressed the issue of sustainability from the perspectives of destination, venue, organizer, service provider and client and urged the exhibition industry to meet this common challenge.

Speaking at the UFI Focus Meeting on Sustainable Development hosted by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) in Bangkok on February 23, Everard reminded the 60 meeting delegates that “we must now join our collective efforts using best industry practices to ensure that our exhibition business is a leading light for exhibitors and buyers to see that we are a wholly sustainable business.” Everard stressed that there are significant economic and human benefits to be gained from a sustainable approach to exhibitions.

During this second UFI Focus Meeting on sustainable development, speakers and delegates shared insights and information on current global initiatives with particular attention to developments in Thailand, India, and China. The Focus Meeting was organized in compliance with guidelines established by the Green Meetings Thailand program. Mr. Akapol Sorasuchart, president of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau said that “Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau is honored to be invited by UFI to share our experience and achievements in working in environmentally sustainable ways, especially on a world stage like this international seminar, where only organizations with best practices are invited to share their ideas. The opportunity for TCEB to present the green concepts we have adopted indicates that we are recognized as a leader in this field.”

“As the official organization responsible for Thailand’s MICE industry, TCEB has recognized the significance of sustainable development. International delegates today care about whether destinations support sustainable environmental efforts, and TCEB needs to lead Thailand in that direction”

“We believe that to increase revenue for the country, Thailand’s MICE industry needs credible tools to attract delegates from across the world, and we believe that Green Meetings are a crucial part of the answer. To this end, we have adopted the principles of Green Meetings as one of the MICE standards for almost three years.”

“This year we aim to raise Thailand’s MICE Industry to another level of sustainable development by positioning Thailand as the ‘Green country.’ We want the world to see Thailand as a leading Green MICE destination. From now on we will work closely with our members to produce green products and attract both domestic and international MICE attendees to experience them,” added Sorasuchart. Michael Duck, chair of UFI’s Committee on Sustainable Development and moderator of the meeting, concluded that “The consensus among delegates is that the exhibition industry must work closely with local and regional authorities to balance long-term sustainable development requirements with short-term business imperatives. While benefits may take time to materialize, UFI and its 550 members in 84 countries are working closely with international organizations to establish common standards for improvement.

“It is only through a long term commitment to sustainable environmental objectives now that the exhibition industry will share in the benefits of a healthy business environment in the future. The reality is that exhibition organizers, venue operators and exhibitors must cooperate closely as we gain a better understanding of workable and effective environmental parameters and their implications for the future sustainability of the industry as a whole”. added Duck.
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