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Laguna Phuket cleans up in dirty laundry trade

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Part of the pleasure of holidaying in a good hotel is that you don’t have to do your own laundry. Yet
someone has to do it for you and for all the other guests. Can you just imagine what a gigantic pile of dirty clothes all the resorts in Phuket generate? But where some see nothing but a lot of dirty laundry, others spot a business opportunity.

Twelve tonnes – this is how much dirty laundry is processed in one day by the Laguna Service laundry operations. And that’s on a slow day, in the low season. Come the high tide of the tourist season and this amount doubles. No wonder that the second biggest industrial laundry in Phuket never ceases operations.

“We work seven days a week, 365 days a year,” says Anthony Loh, Laguna Service Senior AVP. “Room linens constitute the majority of laundry with restaurant linens coming in second,” he adds and continues to explain that the average lifespan of a bed sheet in a big hotel is about one year, or 120 laundry cycles. But not when it’s Laguna Service that takes care of the washing.

“Thanks to Laguna’s technology, this can be expanded for up to two years. We use steam-driven equipment that is gentler on clothes and our washing machines have a lower rotation rate than those you’re used to at home helping to extend the life of the fabric,” says Loh.

Quality service and care for the customers’ fabrics is just one thing that Laguna Service prides itself on. To showcase the other, I’m invited on a tour of the compounds. The first things that catches my eye when inspecting the massive, industrial-type boilers are the nearby rows upon rows of LPG tanks.

“All our operations are fueled with LPG, which is better for the environment. We also perform our own water treatment,” explains Loh.

“Being environmentally friendly is very important to us and to Laguna’s company wide CSR depart-
ment,” he adds.

This care extends to the laundry’s own staff. To limit workers’ exposure to chemicals, most of the operations are automatized. Laguna Service first served exclusively the hotels within Laguna Phuket grounds, using this opportunity to gain experience and to perfect its processes. It was 10 years ago that a decision was made to enter the open market and start aiming at customers outside Laguna.

“But we didn’t just open the flood gates, for the sake of making money,” says Loh. “We wanted to ensure a progressive growth so we approached just two hotels and didn’t advertise – depending entirely on word-of-mouth marketing.”

It worked. Today, 14 hotels outsource their laundry operations to Laguna Service, seven of them outside of Laguna Phuket. Loh believes that its time to take another step up.

“We believe we have reached another level allowing, us to provide more. With 10 years’ of experience in working with outside customers and going through both the highs and the lows of the industry, we feel that the quality of our service has reached a level that allows us to expand without compromising it,” he explains.

The motivations behind this move are bigger than just looking for more revenue: Laguna Service has ambitions to set new standards in Phuket’s industrial laundry services.

“Our ambition is to help develop the whole industry here. We see a lot of small and medium-sized commercial laundries coming up, many of them entering the business just for profit, without regard
for the environment or quality of service. We would like to influence the whole industry to raise their
standards,” says Loh.

“We cannot service everybody but we want hotels to be aware of what quality service is; what is ‘care’ for the associates and what environmentally-friendly operations are,” he concludes.

Laguna Laundry Service can be reached on 076-271313, Email: laundrycv@lagunaphuket.com

— Maciek Klimowicz

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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