Dusit Thani College Students Exclusive Invitation to Sustainability Summit MENA
Nowadays, there have been repeated reports about climate change all over the world. An issue which has been kept a close eye on globally is the northern polar ice and the white sheet in Greenland melting 6-7 times faster compared to what happened 25 years ago. The loss of 4,700 million tons of ice in Greenland partially accounts for an increase of sealevel 1.2 centimetres. This incident reflects how bad the Earth’s climate is now.
Therefore, sustainability becomes a topic that people around the world should prioritise. All sectors are working together to find sustainable solutions for environmental conservation for the next generation. One of the initiatives is the event by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) with the collaboration of the United Nations called MENA Climate Week 2023 (MENA = Middle East and Northern Africa). It was greatly held in the city of Riyadh to understand the issue of climate change which requires global recognition and urgent consensual actions among countries to solve this problem. The event also sets the directions and the future of sustainable tourism and hospitality industry worldwide. The summit featured a number of presentations beneficial for sustainable development, from conferences and workshops to innovative digital media. There was also Youth Forum 2023 for young generations whose interests place in tourism and sustainability.
To encourage the awareness of this event, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia invited students from over 80 countries around the world to participate in the summit. Dusit Thani College was an only educational institution in Thailand being invited to join this remarkable international sustainability and sustainable tourism event without any expenses since it is the first and only educational institution in Thailand specialised in tourism and hospitality businesses. The college brought 41 students on a flight to the city of Riyadh during October 8-12, 2023, considered an exclusive eye-opening experience for students of Dusit Thani College which could not be found anywhere.
“I had the amazing opportunity to meet, listen, and engage with many global leaders such as H.R.H Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman, H.H. Princess Haifa of Saudi Arabia, UN leaders, Delegates, and students from corners of the globe,” said Ms. Kamelia Ferdousi, a Hospitality Management (International Program) student of Dusit Thani College – as being one of the41 participating students. “The event displayed a marvelous youth engagement and our commitment as well as powerful contributions to generate positive change to the Earth. Surely, the MENA Climate Week Youth Forum facilitated a global network of future leaders to lead us to our beautiful planet Earth in a sustainable and cherishable way. We had a chance to visit The City of Light ‘Diriyah’ and the exhibition of NEOM with the visualisation of The Line project, which plans to house 9 million people in a first-of-a-kind fascinating futuristic development. Furthermore, MENA Climate Week enlightened me into a promising future considering the youth’s powerful involvement and awareness. This trip is considered an enriching experience that allowed me to visit a new country with distinctive culture and amazing Arab cuisine. The warm hospitality of the Arabian people has left an incredible mark on my heart.”
While Mr. Nitipon Tangsangakun, Culinary Arts and Kitchen Management Program student of Dusit Thani College, added that “It is a pleasure and honour of mine for having a chance to learn concepts, cultural exchange, and event planning in Saudi Arabia. I was able to witness the way of life of the locals here, from the way of living to lifestyle and communication which are different from Thailand. It was very heartwarming to be welcomed and given a great care by our host, especially for safety, comfortable accommodations, and meals. I also gained knowledge from attending activities in MENA Climate Change which could not be found in classrooms. I will utilise what I learned from this opportunity in my way of living to conserve our world’s environment. I would like to thank Dusit Thani College for granting this great opportunity to students.”
The opportunity of Dusit Thani College students to attend MENA Climate Week 2023 as future leaders of tourism and hospitality business is not only an oversea experience for them to harvest, but also an inspiration to make this world more livable. The event also visualises the guidelines for tourism businesses to develop following the current trend. The college wishes that a small start on the campus will lead to sustainable development in the future.