Thailand is battling the environmental impacts of mass tourism, and is investing 13 billion to attract even more tourists

first_imgThailand has been battling the negative environmental impacts of tourism for some time. As many as 40 million tourists are expected this year, and within ten years the inflow could increase by another 25 million, reports Bloomberg. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy plans to invest about $ 13 billion in expanding airport capacity and connecting large terminals to high-speed rail. As a result, the number of foreign tourists could jump by more than 60 percent by 2029 and equal the population of the United Kingdom, according to estimates by the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC). Tourism is the lifeblood of Thailand’s economy, and visitor numbers are one of the reasons why the Thai baht is the strongest currency in Asia this year. Yet the challenges the country faces, such as floods, have long-term consequences for its environment. For example, the iconic Maya Bay beach, known for the cult film “Beach” with Leonard DiCaprio, has been permanently closed to visitors to help the ecosystem recover. Current and capacity after the expansion of Thai airports Source: Bloomberg / Photo: Pexels.com But the difference is that tourism makes up a fifth of Thailand’s economy, which is why managing the sector is a key issue for the country’s prosperity. Arrivals have moderated in recent months which is presumably a temporary occurrence due to the weakening global economy. Thailand is not the only destination facing the negative consequences of mass tourism, from damage to coral reefs, to pollution of the sea with plastic, garbage and sewage. Neighboring countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, face similar challenges. This would, by 2025, expand the capacity of all three facilities to 190 million passengers from the current 78 million. National airports manage many more passengers than the capacity for which they are intended. “We need to work to improve water and energy efficiency and reduce the use of plastics and recycle more”, He concluded. “The country cannot tolerate such a sudden increase in the number of touristsSaid Somprawin Manprasert, chief economist at Ayudhya PCL, a Thai subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. “We need to introduce a better system for managing destinations and tourists, which can help with congestion and environmental problems. Still not enough is being done.” Plans to upgrade Thai infrastructure include adding new terminals to two international airports in Bangkok, as well as expanding the one near the Pattaya resort. Officials have been trying for years to attract tourists to less visited parts of the country to ease pressure on traditional destinations such as Bangkok and the Phuket resort. But these initiatives have only partially succeeded. But traffic improvements are not enough to ensure the sustainability of tourism, said Weerasak Kowsurat, a former Thai tourism minister currently serving in the Senate.last_img read more

Jacqueline Linda Blasdel, 80

first_imgJacqueline Linda Blasdel, 80, of Greensburg, passed away on Monday, January 15, 2018 at her residence in Greensburg.  Jackie was born on April 4, 1937 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Valentine and Lillian Bauer.  She was a graduate of Western Hills High School.  She worked as a lab technician at Proctor and Gamble earning an honorary PhD from her fellow co-workers.  Jackie was married to William J. Blasdel on September 27, 1963.  She then became a full-time mother while living in Bright, In.  She was also the bookkeeper for the Miller Township Trustee.   Jackie and Bill moved to Greensburg in 1968 and both became very active in the community.  She was president of the American Cancer Society, a founding member of Tree County Players, founder and director of Tree City Singers, board member of Tulip Trace Girl Scout Council, Vice Chair of the Decatur County Republican Party, member of the Lung Association, Psi Iota Xi Sorority, member of the leasing committee of the Decatur County Hospital, founding member of the DCMH Foundation, President of the Chamber of Commerce, President of New Directions, 30 year member of the United Methodist Church, member of the Greensburg Wesleyan Church, and served on a number of other committees.  In 1974, along with her husband, they started the WB Panel company which was later incorporated with an industrial oven company to form Blasdel Enterprises in 1982.  Jackie was the CEO for over 35 years.  In 2007, Jackie was awarded the Distinguished Hoosier Award from Gov. Mitch Daniels and a state recognition from the Republican Party.  In 2010, Jackie and Bill were recognized with the Greensburg Decatur County Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award.  Jackie is survived by her husband, William Blasdel, Greensburg, two sons, Jack (Pam) Blasdel and Tim (Carol) Blasdel, all of Greensburg, three daughters, Jill Blasdel, Beth (Greg DeWitt) Blasdel, and Becky Blasdel, all of Greensburg, three grandsons, Todd Blasdel, Noblesville, Matt (Sara) Blasdel, Noblesville, Michael (Brittany Nicole) Blasdel, Greensburg, three granddaughters, Brittany K. Blasdel, Greensburg, Grace Vanderbur and Olivia Vanderbur, of Greensburg, 4 great grandchildren, Miles, Bailey, Malcolm, and Jace Blasdel, two sisters, Eleanor Lorton, and Marjie Bauer, both of Cincinnati, and several nieces and nephews.  Jackie was preceded in death by her parents, Valentine and Lillian Bauer.  Visitation will be on Friday from 4-8 pm and on Saturday from 10-11 am at Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home in Greensburg.  Funeral Services will start at 11 am on Saturday at Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home with Rev. Doug Preston officiating.  Burial will follow at Gibson Cemetery in Bright.  Memorial contributions can be made to the DCMH Foundation or to Tree County Players.  Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.comlast_img read more