This study is a research project that aims to gain a deeper understanding of perspectives, barriers and difficulties that might have an influence on the sustainable event development in Thailand. Primary research data were collected through in-depth interviews with stakeholders involved in Thailand's sustainable event development. The results reveal that, at present, although both government sectors and the private organization are involved in promoting sustainability in the event industry in Thailand, there is still an essential necessity for more widespread environmental education and course curriculum. By increasing knowledge and understanding, obstacles identified by interviewees may be eliminated.
The meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) industry accounts for a significant segment of the tourist industry market and has experienced generous growth and development in the past decade (Astroff & Abbey, 2006; Kim, Chon, & Chung, 2003; UNWTO, 2006). In Thailand, the MICE industry is among the fastest-growing industries and is a major contributor to the tourism industry. Thailand's MICE industry has been experiencing steady growth since 2010, with total MICE-related visitors rising from 679,585 to 1,013,502 between 2010 and 2013; this shows a 49.14% increase. MICE revenue also increased by 65.35%, from THB 50.515 billion to THB 88.845 billion over the same period (TCEB, 2015a). This has been coupled with an expansion in the development of supporting facilities and infrastructures within Thailand designed to call for this remunerative sector of the tourism market (Dwyer & Forsyth, 1996). According to Mihalic (2000), the term “green” is used to represent “environmentally friendly”. It is also understood to mean “sustainable” when discussing tourism destination practices or “clean and efficient” when describing pollution and energy consumption (Tsaur & Wang, 2007). The formalized definition of the “green event” concept is still in debate (TCEB, 2012). However, it is important to note that events, by their very nature, create waste. Any gathering of a large number of people can have a “potential negative impact on the air, soil, water, resources, and people” (Dickson & Arcodia, 2010, p. 236). This includes not only the location where the event takes place but also areas far beyond, as participants may consume natural resources (such as materials, energy, and water), generate waste, create local air and water pollution, and contribute to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions (Han, Hsu, Lee, & Sheu, 2011; Lee, Barber, & Tyrrell, 2013).