Today we received this powerful message from Adrian Pointer @ Southall Travel and we feel it’s worth sharing with you all…..

‘Please forgive me for writing this but I have been wanting to do this for a long time. The e-mail is not being sent to anyone in particular, so please accept this in the way that it is meant in the hope that some changes may be made in the future.

I have been in the travel industry for over 30 years. As I see the industry grow and hotel after hotel appearing in Asia and indeed globally, there is now real concern over environmental issues which I have very strong feelings about (not just about sewage, water, plastic straws in Hotels/plastic cups, detergents etc. as I would hope that action is already being taken about this). Over time I have noticed a surge in corporate gifts, printed matter and giveaways which could potentially have a really negative impact on the environment and are a total waste of money and potentially devastating to the sea, rivers, reefs and create unnecessary landfill. I have spoken to colleagues of mine and they feel the same. Only a very small part will ever be recycled.

I am please asking you to seriously consider cutting down on giveaways, printed material and corporate gifts, especially those made of plastic. Some of the things I have seen over the past few months alone are as follows:

  1. Plastic A4 paper folders
  2. USB drives made of plastic
  3. Plastic baggage tags
  4. Plastic toys
  5. Soft Toys with plastic eyes
  6. Rubber USB sticks
  7. Rubber squeezing balls
  8. Plastic boxes with a gift inside or tied with plastic ‘string’
  9. Notepads and stickers
  10. Post-it notes
  11. Shopping bags or souvenir promotional bags
  12. Plastic Umbrellas
  13. Hundreds of plastic pens
  14. Plastic adaptors
  15. Gimmicks for attaching to mobile phones made of plastic
  16. Plastic phone covers
  17. Calendars
  18. Stickers
  19. Plastic planes
  20. CD’s of Hotel images with plastic covers
  21. Plastic carrier bags
  22. Gifts with unnecessary packaging

The list goes on and on and on.  None of the above is necessary and whilst I do not wish to sound ungrateful, all of these things will eventually end up in the trash, in landfill and the seas and rivers creating devastation to the environment. We have to remember that nothing in the above list is something we need or else we would have bought it ourselves. This has to stop. Please consider if you do still wish to say thank you with a gift to perhaps look at something small made of recycled or biodegradable material or even perhaps some local produce/handmade gift or dried fruit perhaps. I am merely asking you to consider this as I always leave trade shows and events with bags full of stuff.

  1. Why have printed material when you can email images and pictures or show a presentation?
  2. Please consider banning plastic cups, straws and bags in your Hotels and outlets within the Hotels
  3. Does your Hotel use plastic bottles for water and if so, do you recycle them?

We can all make a small difference! 😊’

VERY well said Adrian from the team at Select Representation. We have passed this thoughtful message on to our close partners (hotels and destination management companies) in Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong, China, India, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.