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One more challenge for McCormack

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: From a race track to a company board room – seems like change of pace for a world class athlete. But Chris McCormack proves otherwise. The same passion that let him win over 200 triathlons is about to help him achieve his goals as the new Executive Chairman of Thanyapura.

He is certainly not a newcomer to the world of business and finance though: “I graduated from a university with a Bachelor of Commerce degree with majors in marketing and accounting. I took a job straight out of that university at Banker’s Trust, I was heading straight into international finance,” he told the Gazette in an exclusive interview.

It took Macca a few months to realize that he wanted more from life than just more money. “After about six or seven months of working in international finance, I hated it. I just felt I was very young, and I hadn’t travelled. So I decided one day that I would quit my job, sell everything I had and take my bike, swimming goggles and running shoes and try and do races around the world,” he recalls.

The next few years made the Macca we know today – a world class athlete, a permanent winner striving to achieve perfection in the water, on the bike and on the running track. But even now, after years of sporting career achievements, McCormack is grateful to his parents for making him study hard. “It’s been the biggest blessing I’ve ever had. I’m a lot more analytical and I think that’s my biggest strength.”

Macca believes that the things he learned while competing in triathlons might add to the success of his work at Thanyapura, as much as his education and experience in the world of finance.

“I think my greatest strength has been putting great people around me and empowering them to give the best they can do. My success on the sporting field is without question due my lack of arrogance, my realization that I don’t know everything. The worst thing you can have is a leader who thinks he knows everything… And I think great leaders pick the path, and they lead and empower the people below them.”

But there is one more quality McCormack developed as an athlete that will help him succeed at Thanyapura – competitiveness, a desire to win.

“I’m a winner and a sore loser. Sport is simple, there is one objective – to win. In the professional world, any athlete is there to win. Winning in business is not crossing a line first. Winning is understanding where this machine wants to go and making it get there. And when you get there, you ask yourself a question ‘is this where we want to be?’ and if it’s not, you reassess and figure out where you want to be and get there.”

So what is the path for Thanyapura according to McCormack? “I came here to Phuket as a professional athlete. I was staying down at Laguna and I’d never heard of Thanyapura. I was fortunate enough to meet people who trained here, they brought me here and I was absolutely blown away by all the facilities. And not just the sporting facilities, but the backup facilities all in one spot, with a training environment second to none.”

“I was then introduced to Thanyapura’s founder Klaus Hebben and I said ‘Look, Klaus, how didn’t I know about this place? I am your market!’ I took out my phone and and typed in ‘swimming’ and ‘Phuket’ in to Google and Thanyapura didn’t even come up! And I know people around the world are stinging for a center like this.
We need to get the message out! There’s a market out there that’s enormous.”

But even with all the marketing talk – the goals, the PR – Macca is still an athlete.”I’m on the start line of
another race, I’m going to work out ways to get there and there’s going to be some things we fail at. But the ultimate end game for us is to win. Winning, for me, is seeing people utilizing this center.

“Triathlon has given me my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This is the best lifestyle you can possibly have. I don’t care if being a corporate banker would’ve made me more money. So that’s how I want my success to be measured, by seeing people utilizing this center and enjoying life.”

— 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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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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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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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January

Maya Taylor

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Vietjet

Passenger numbers on domestic flights within Thailand have doubled within a month, rising from 4,000 in January to over 10,000 this month. Having nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels, domestic travel plummeted once more when Covid-19 resurfaced late last year.

Apirat Chaiwongnoi from the Department of Airports says 15 of Thailand’s 29 airports are now operating domestic flights, with more expected to follow. He believes the aviation sector will continue to recover further in the coming 6 months, bolstered by the national vaccine rollout.

Around 120 domestic flights a day are now operating, which is twice the number that were operating at the lowest point in the crisis. Prior to the resurgence of the virus in December, domestic passenger numbers had recovered to 30,000 – 40,000 a day, around 80% of pre-pandemic numbers.

The DoA says airports must continue to adhere to the Covid-19 hygiene measures put in place by the Health Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Samut Sakhon’s shrimp market to remain closed until February 15

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Samut Sakhon’s shrimp market to remain closed until February 15 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kom Chad Luek

Samut Sakhon’s Central Shrimp Market, the epicentre of Thailand’s recent wave of Covid-19, will remain closed until February 15. The market can reopen once the overall hygiene situation at the market and surrounding area has improved, according to the province’s disease control committee.

Local officials say the shrimp market needs to remain closed until the market structure and nearby residential facilities are inspected. People who violate the order face up to a year in prison and a fine up to 100,000 baht.

More than 12,000 people in the province have tested positive for Covid-19. The increasing number of infections is a result from the active case finding to contain the spread of the virus.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | Thairath Online

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