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Achieving Sustainable Tourism in ASEAN's Waterway Cities: A Series Of Webinars and Workshops

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Cultivating Tourism in ASEAN's Waterway Cities and Creative City Network: A Conversation with Montakarn Suvanatap Kittipaisalsilp, Programme Officer for Culture at UNESCO Bangkok

"Fostering meaningful dialogues on sustainable tourism."
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  • What inspired the collaboration behind this project, 'Achieving Sustainable Tourism with Intangible Cultural Heritage and Creative City Network in Waterway Cities of ASEAN'?

It has been a mutual interest between Thailand’s Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) and UNESCO, since their first Memorandum of Understanding in 2014, to work together to safeguard living heritage (intangible cultural heritage / ICH), promote more cities to UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) and to expand partnerships with private and public sectors and civil society on sustainable tourism. With the recent financial support from ASEAN-Türkiye Cooperation, CRIHAP and K11, we are able to achieve this aspiration. This year (2024) marks the first phase of this sub-regional project, which is hoped to continue for longer term. It therefore aims to revitalize the network of people working to develop community-based tourism using local cultural assets – i.e. existing living heritage and creative products and services.

  • How does this webinar contribute to the promoting and development of sustainable tourism in the ASEAN waterside cities?

The project team realize that one webinar cannot manage to promote and advance the sustainable tourism. So when we designed the project, we designed the whole series of engaging discussions that address important questions still in the minds of people working on or supporting sustainable tourism – particularly those concerning community-based tourism efforts. We hope that by setting a clear and continuous goal to stimulate conversation among tourism professionals in different countries can lead to actual and lasting networking that they can all maintain beyond the life of this humble project.

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  • What can attendees expect to gain from the insights and knowledge shared during the webinar?

First you will get to listen to and learn from experiences – good and bad ones – of those we at UNESCO and DASTA have regarded as experts in the field of cultural heritage, community-based tourism, cultural and creative industries, etc. Our webinars are designed to provide you with opportunities to directly talk to these panelists with encouraging moderated session for you to voice your questions, concerns and stories. We believe that what is equally important to knowledge is to have friends, and we aim to provide chances for you to meet your like-minded new friends.

  • In what ways do you envision this collaboration to impact the future of sustainable tourism initiatives in ASEAN waterway cities such as Cambodia?

We hope that by introducing this international project, a country can see that it does not need to counter challenges or progress alone. Cambodia is a country equipped with dynamic and creative people who are ready to absorb new ideas from elsewhere and contextualize them for local solutions. We would like to encourage more tourism professionals in Cambodia to exploit this networking project and find allies in helping you reshaping how people travelling in your country, using your resources in a more sustainable and beneficial way to your local communities.

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  • How will the selection process for the webinar program be conducted, and what are the eligibility criteria for individuals interested in applying?

For all 6 webinars, all tourism professionals working in all ASEAN countries are eligible to participate. But for the on-site workshop in Thailand, which we plan to launch the call for applications on Friday 24 November, only tourism professionals working in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand are eligible to apply, yet regardless of their nationalities. This means as long as their works are in and benefit the three countries, they can apply. The application form, I have to say, is quite long and challenging, as it was designed by our team of experienced facilitators. They will be the ones reading your applications and select the 30 people from the 3 countries for UNESCO to fully fund their participation.

  • Could you provide additional information about the webinars that are planned up until June 2024 related to this project initiative, 'Achieving Sustainable Tourism with Intangible Cultural Heritage and Creative City Network in Waterway Cities of ASEAN' ?

The line up of exciting webinars are:

  • Webinar 1 | 24 November 2023: Unlocking Potential: Is Community-Based Tourism a Sustainable Business Model in ASEAN Waterway Locales?

  • Webinar 2 | 3 February 2024: Sustainable Gastronomical Experience in UNESCO Locales (Coinciding with an immersive workshop in Thailand’s vibrant Bangkok and Nan Old City, 3–7 February 2024)

  • Webinar 3 | 20 March 2024: Harnessing Digital Tools for Greater Community Involvement in the Tourism Narrative

  • Webinar 4 | 10 April 2024: Exploring Sustainable Festival and Event Tourism as a Growth Driver

  • Webinar 5 | 29 May 2024: Sharing Indigenous Stories and Experiences from the Source of Rivers for a More Profound Tourism Journey

  • Webinar 6 | 19 June 2024: Addressing the Challenge of Plastic Use in Travel: From Policy Formulation to Practical Application


Join the first webinar — Webinar 1 - Unlocking Potential: Is Community-Based Tourism a Sustainable Business Model in ASEAN Waterway Locales?

We encourage professionals and stakeholders from the travel and tourism sector in ASEAN countries to participate in this event. Attendees will have the opportunity to contribute to vital conversations that will shape the trajectory of sustainable tourism in ASEAN waterside communities.

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Join us in our commitment to fostering a sustainable and inclusive future for tourism in ASEAN waterside cities.

Event Details:

  • Date: Friday, 24 November 2023

  • Time: 09:30 - 12:00 (GMT+7)

  • Location: Hosted on Zoom

To register, please visit our Webinar Registration page.

For more information and webinar agenda, please visit our Project Portal or scan the below QR code.

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About the Project

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"Enhancing Sustainable Tourism in ASEAN Waterside Cities" is a pioneering initiative designed to leverage local communities' unique cultural and natural heritage, fostering sustainable development and regional cooperation.

We look forward to seeing you at all our 6 webinars and to collaborating on sustainable tourism development in our waterside communities.

For press inquiries or further details, please contact City Connext:

Anawit Jitmana (+66) 65 895 6323

Thatsanvanh Banjong (+66) 87 706 5030

Email address:

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Contact b.Consulting

(+855) 10 518 700


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