Welcome to the Global Alliance for Smoke-free Tourism (GAST)!

The Global Alliance for Smoke-free Tourism (GAST) was organized by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) and launched on October 27, 2022, during the 8th Asia Pacific Smoke-free Meeting in Baguio City, Philippines. GAST is a pioneering network of tourist destinations dedicated to implementing and promoting smoke-free policies. Our alliance includes a diverse array of smoke-free destinations such as heritage sites, historic sites, botanical gardens, churches, temples, mosques, monuments, parks, resorts, hotels, restaurants, sports venues among others.

Since 2011, SEATCA has championed the smoke-free tourism campaign, starting with renowned tourist destinations like the Angkor sites in Cambodia, Borobudur in Indonesia, Luang Prabang in Lao PDR, Georgetown Penang and Malacca in Malaysia, Bagan and Pindaya Cave in Myanmar, Mount Samat National Shrine in the Philippines, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai in Thailand, and Halong and the Ancient Town in Hoi An in Vietnam. These iconic sites have paved the way for a healthier, cleaner, and more enjoyable experience for tourists in the ASEAN region.

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Why Choose Smoke-free Tourism?

Smoke-free environments not only enhance the tourism experience but also contribute significantly to environmental preservation. Here’s how:

Health Benefits: By reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, we protect tourists, hospitality workers, and residents from the harmful health effects associated with tobacco.

Environmental Protection: Smoke-free policies help reduce the toxic waste generated by tobacco products, including cigarette butts and e-cigarette waste, preserving the natural beauty and integrity of tourist destinations.

Preservation of Heritage Sites: Cultural and national heritage sites are vulnerable to damage from tobacco smoke and litter. Protecting these sites ensures they remain attractive and intact for future generations.

Enhanced Visitor Experience: Tourists are more likely to visit and spend time in places where they can enjoy clean, fresh air, free from the nuisances and hazards of smoking.

Global Evidence Supporting Smoke-free Legislation:

Australia: Studies have shown that smoke-free laws in Australia did not lead to a decline in hospitality venue revenues. Instead, there was a positive impact on the overall dining experience, leading to stable or increased patronage.

Canada: In Canada, smoke-free laws have been linked to higher levels of customer satisfaction in bars and restaurants, with no negative financial impact on these establishments.

United States: Numerous studies across different states in the U.S. demonstrate that smoke-free laws do not harm the tourism or hospitality industries. In many cases, these laws have improved the appeal of destinations and hospitality venues by providing cleaner, healthier environments.

Specific Findings from the Caribbean:

Tourist Arrivals: Comprehensive smoke-free laws did not deter tourists. In fact, destinations like Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago saw continued or increased tourist arrivals post-legislation.

Tourist Expenditure: Visitor spending remained stable or increased, indicating that smoke-free environments did not discourage economic activity.

Average Length of Stay: There was no significant reduction in the length of stay among tourists, suggesting that smoke-free policies do not negatively impact the overall tourism experience.

Specific Findings in the ASEAN region:

Tourist Arrivals: In 2009, the Angkor sites in Siem Reap, Cambodia, attracted over 800,000 tourists. This number surged to 1-2 million visitors annually after the site became smoke-free in 2012.

Similarly, since the declaration of Smoke-free Borobudur in Indonesia in 2012, annual visitors to the temple increased from over 3 million to more than 4 million by 2017.

Why Join GAST?

Joining the Global Alliance for Smoke-free Tourism (GAST) offers numerous advantages for both emerging and established smoke-free destinations:

  • Technical Support: SEATCA and its partners are committed to providing comprehensive technical support to destinations that are not yet smoke-free. We will help you develop and implement effective smoke-free policies, ensuring a healthier environment for tourists and residents alike.
  • Promotion and Visibility: If your tourist destination is already 100% smoke-free, you will receive special recognition by being featured on the Smoke-free ASEAN website. This exposure will help attract more tourists to your location, enhancing your visibility and reputation as a healthy, clean, and desirable destination.
Join the Movement

By supporting smoke-free tourism, you contribute to a healthier, more sustainable, and enjoyable travel experience for everyone. Join GAST in our mission to create cleaner, safer, and more inviting tourist destinations worldwide.

Explore our website to learn more about our initiatives, find smoke-free destinations, and discover how you can be part of this global movement.