The Green Leaf Foundation, together with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, awarded certificates to Thai hotels, which have participated in the Smoke-Free hotels and Health Promotion Hotels campaign. The event was held on December 2, 2009 at the Conference Room, Public Relations Department Building, Soi Aree, Bangkok.
The campaign was designed to motivate more Thai hotels to become smoke-free and offer smoke-free accommodation. Once they have become smoke-free hotels for a set period of time, they qualify to be graded as Health Promotion Hotels by adding health and environmentally-friendly programs.
These include products, facilities, and services such as climate-friendly menus, health promotion packages, health promotion spas, etc. They help participating hotels to become more competitive in attracting visitors, while preserving the environment and promoting “healthy tourism.”
There are 355 hotels in Thailand currently listed as offering health promotion programs, of which 36 hotels are environmentally-friendly certified. The certificate-awarding ceremony included a special lecture on “A New Dimension of an Environmental Hotel and Health Promotion Hotel” by assistant professor Prakit Vathesatogkit, MD, executive secretary, Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand, followed by assistant professor Jiraphol Sindhunava, lecturer, Faculty of Environmental and Resources Study, Mahidol University, and vice president of the Green Leaf Foundation.
Other speakers included Mr. Pradech Phayakvichien, former TAT governor and secretary to the Green Leaf Foundation; Dr. Suvit Yodmani, former minister of tourism and sports, and presently chairman of the Green Leaf Foundation.
According to the Green Leaf Foundation, the Health Promotion Hotel project is designed to publicize the participating hotels in order to enhance their competitive edge in attracting clients and guests in an era of increasing environmental-consciousness.
It will also help promote and enhance the roles of hotel developers, employees, customers, material and service suppliers, and community members in preserving the environment and promoting healthy tourism.
Participating hotels are listed in a directory and can also publicize their certified status via their respective brochures, websites, email newsletters, etc. They can also attract a better caliber of staff who wish to be proud of working for a hotel that is environmentally and socially conscious.
The Green Leaf Foundation organizes several activities and projects to maintain the momentum.
These include anti-smoking campaigns for staff, suppliers, and guests; introduction of health-friendly menus, which stress use of local and seasonal vegetables, fruits, and herbs, all organically grown; and development of spas, which emphasise energy conservation and use of products, which are bio-degradable, free of chemicals, and packaged in environmentally-friendly materials.
Meetings, functions, and events in these hotels are also designed to be climate-friendly, as are all the internal engineering and maintenance operations. Transportation systems used by the hotels also follow the same principles, including the use of car pooling for both hotel guests and employees.
As of today, over 170 hotels have participated in the Green Leaf program, including the latest batch of 41 hotel,s which received the Green Leaf certificate on December 2.
A total of 382 hotels have joined the smoke-free and health promotion program in the following categories: honorary certificate – 146 hotels, silver stars – 32 hotels, and golden stars – 204 hotels. They are among the many 100 percent smoke-free hotels in Thailand.
This project is an activity of the Green Leaf Foundation, which is a joint initiative of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thai Hotels Association, United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP), Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Metropolitan Waterworks Authority, and Association for the Development of Environmental Quality.