Connect with us

Business

Phuket Hotel Association to be key platform for hotel industry

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Phuket Hotel Association to be key platform for hotel industry | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET: The erroneous ‘No Summer Dream’ fliers, warning tourists and locals not to bring sun loungers to the beach, is the latest blow for authorities attempting to restore a semblance of order to the island’s tourism industry. One that has left hotel and resort owners, as well as their general managers, scrambling for a response and explanation to give to the world.

However, even when corporate responses are well coordinated, the impact becomes negligible when faced with the bombardment of messages from local and international media. The insignificance of the explanations is compounded when hotel and resort leaders fail to have a single message and a single voice: enter the Phuket Hotel Association (PHA).

On February 16, about 40 GMs or their representatives from many of the island’s most prominent branded and non-branded resorts and hotels met as the groundwork for the PHA, a registered nonprofit organization, was laid out.

“This is the beginning of a forum that gives hoteliers and their owners a platform to discuss issues that are commonly shared, including education, marketing and ‘Brand Phuket’, as well as the industry’s response to crises or negative press and so on,” said PHA Executive Director Anthony Lark.

The core objective of PHA, based on the successful Bali Hotel Association, is to be the leading private sector initiative in marketing tourism in Phuket and to promote the island as the leading destination resort in Asia and one of the finest in the world, it was explained during the meeting.

“It is time for Phuket to communicate to the world that, although we share the same core values with the rest of Thailand – good value, warmth, generosity of Thai culture – Phuket is a large entity in its own right and has a voice that deserves to be heard,” explained Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks Bill Barnett.

“The PHA aims to be a significant force within Asia so it can effectively deliver the ‘Brand Phuket’ message to an international audience, and work as a forum between tourism and government on issues relating to the island’s most important industry.”

The PHA will launch on March 1 with an expected 25-30 hotels’ business heads joining that month, said Mr Barnett.

“We have critical mass, we expect to come out with 25-30 hotels by March. The initiative this year really is to address the critical components, a major one of which right now is how do you voice to customers what’s happening on the beaches,” he said.

“We are in market free fall right now. Bali dropped by 14% year-on-year for January trading. Markets are struggling to figure out how to replace those clients, so it’s a business issue as well.”

Unlike many other island tourist destinations in Thailand, arrivals at Phuket International Airport showed a quick recovery from the market contraction with the declaration of martial law last year. Though arrivals show a 2% international and 5% domestic growth year-on-year, market-wide occupancy in 2014 fell by 6%, according to a C9 Hotelworks report.

The decrease in demand led to average room rates dropping slightly from US$147 in 2013 to US$146 in 2014, as the baht depreciated six per cent against the US dollar.

To combat the decline in occupancy, as well as the 4,727 new rooms expected to enter the Phuket market by 2018, the PHA will be working with branding specialist Quo’s CEO David Keen.

“The damage we get from the media with the reports and comments talking about Phuket is [that the island is] ridiculous, stupid, nothing works, everything else – it’s just nonsense,” said Mr Barnett.

“We are trying to re-install pride back into it and positive messaging – not fluff – to pass on information about the beaches in a realistic way, so that people know what’s going on. Right now hotel managers have to go online and blog about an issue, otherwise there is no way for them to voice their concerns. We are trying to give them a venue for that.”

The lack of a platform has consistently been a problem, Mr Lark said. “For instance, there wasn’t a unified body to discuss issues, so hotel GMs were just emailing each other independently, asking, ‘What are you doing?’

“[Now] we can form a common position in response to any crisis… The PHA is therefore a unified body, representative of the views of our Thai owners, GMs and the larger chains, all of whom have a stake in seeing Phuket’s brand communicated in a positive way,” Mr Lark said.

“We want to work closely with the Tourism Authority of Thailand in promoting the positive news and incredible experiences of our island. What we are saying is that at the level of private enterprise, a lot of the Thai owners of hotels on this island would like to see a more unified approach to issues, and we are better off speaking with one voice.”

Membership fees for the PHA will range from 25,000 baht to 40,000 baht and be used for operational costs, and eventually to create a scholarship to send local students to top-flight hotel schools outside of Thailand.

The PHA is also embracing the efforts of the Trisara Academy, which aims to improve the skill sets of Thais working in the hospitality industry.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Business

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

The Thaiger

Published

on

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.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Business

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

The Thaiger

Published

on

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.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

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.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism6 days ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism6 days ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending