UOB Thailand launches the Sustainability Innovation Programme to catalyse the transformation of SMEs in the tourism sector into sustainable businesses
UOB Thailand announces the launch of its inaugural Sustainability Innovation Programme (SIP). This transformative initiative is tailored to aid small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector to become sustainable and green businesses by incorporating cutting-edge digital tools and eco-friendly technology crucial to succeed in sustainable tourism.
The programme, run by The FinLab Thailand, in collaboration with Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) and O2O Forum, will equip more than 150 SMEs in the tourism sector with knowledge, tools and resources to help them strike a balance between impact, profitability, and productivity in sustainable tourism.
The Sustainability Innovation Programme (SIP) will also offer participants insights into business transformation for sustainable practices, operational process digitalisation for enhanced efficiency, and funding opportunities for digital and green technology adoption. Utilising tools such as cWallet, a greenhouse gas accounting system and an all-in-one platform for managing carbon footprints and carbon credits, SMEs can embark on their transformation journey towards sustainable tourism while tracking their carbon footprint in real time.
Perks for participating SMEs include a complimentary three-month trial of cWallet and a 4,400-baht discount off a one-year service fee subscription on Appointment Anywhere platform, which helps streamline booking management for food and beverage businesses, effectively boosting efficiency and revenue.
As sustainable tourism gains traction and is expected to reach 24.6 million US dollars in 2022, the launch of UOB Thailand’s SIP is timely, enabling SMEs to meet evolving consumer preferences for sustainable travel. According to Sustainable Travel Study 2022, 90 per cent of consumers actively seek sustainable options when traveling, with 69 per cent aiming to reduce environmental impacts and 65 per cent expressing a desire to support local cultures and communities.
Mr Banlang Wongthawatchai, Head of Digital Engagement and FinTech Innovation, UOB Thailand, said, “Sustainable tourism development is a top priority, and consumers increasingly opt for environmentally conscious choices when travelling. Our programme unites industry experts who can guide SMEs towards new opportunities. SMEs can actively participate in sustainable tourism with the help of customised digital tools, financial support for adopting green technology, and expertise in restructuring their business models.”
Mr Nithee Seeprae, Deputy Governor for Digital Research and Development, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said, “Thailand has already welcomed more than 12.78 million foreigners in the first half of the year with an estimation to reach 80 per cent of the pre-COVID level. With this growing number, we have launched many campaigns to attract foreign tourists to the country. One of the initiatives, Sukjai Smart Travel, aims to enhance the tourism experience by allowing Thai and foreign tourists to scan and collect Nong Sukjai in the form of NFT (Non-Fungible Token) at various tourist destinations, encouraging tourism and generating value for local communities.
Working together with UOB Thailand on their Sustainable Innovation Programme will not only prepare and empower small and medium-sized tourism businesses to handle the increasing number of tourists, but also enhance their visibility on the Amazing Thailand platform. Based on our extensive efforts, we have projected that the tourism industry will produce a maximum revenue of 2.38 trillion baht by 2023.”
The SIP is open to SME business owners or decision makers in the tourism sector, including hotels, restaurants, and entertainment business, who are enthusiastic to adopt sustainability practices, embrace technology, and invest in digital tools and able to commit their time to this programme which will take place in July and August 2023. Interested SMEs, regardless of sizes and turnover, can apply for the programme at
 Thailand Sustainable Tourism Market Outlook by Future Market Insights
 The Sustainable Travel Study 2022 was conducted by Expedia Group Media Solutions and Wakefield Research of 11,000 consumers across 11 global market to understand attitudes, behaviors, and values around sustainability in travel