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Phuket’s Courtyard by Marriott in Kamala to reopen as Swissotel

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket’s Courtyard by Marriott in Kamala to reopen as Swissotel | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Global chain Swissotel will reportedly take over management of the former Courtyard Marriott Kamala Beach effective April 1, reports Phuket Gazette Property Watch columnist Bill Barnett.

The 180-key, all-suite hotel, which is owned by Destination Properties, is part of a Phuket portfolio that includes former Courtyards in Surin Beach and Patong.

The news follows Marriott and Destination Properties announcing in January that they were “parting ways” over the Courtyard brand in Phuket.

“According to industry sources the other two hotels will possibly be branded to different international chains in the near future,” Mr Barnett said.

The Kamala Beach resort will be the first resort in Asia for the Swissotel brand

“Phuket is one of the most visited regions in Thailand and after operating two hotels in Bangkok for years, we are set to finally open our first resort property in Asia.

“This project will strengthen our presence and complement our expansion strategies within the region,” said Meinhard Huck, president of Swissotel Hotels & Resorts.

The news follows a public statement issued yesterday by Destination Properties, stating that the other former Courtyard by Marriott properties to be handed back will owner-operated for a limited period.

“Starting 1st of April 2012 the hotels in Surin and Patong will be managed by the owning company for a period of approximately 30 to 40 days. Within this time frame the cluster sales office in Soi Lang Suan, Bangkok will be as usual your point of contact for all related issues.

In the mentioned intermediary period the Hotels will operate under the following names: Destination Patong Hotel and Spa; and Destination Surin Resort and Spa, said the statement.

“During the conversion period of the Hotels in Cha Am and in Phuket on Kamala Beach all of the above act as your points of contact. Even we are not in the position to take immediate decisions in regards to rates we are delighted to coordinate your request with the newly assigned management company accordingly,” the statement added.

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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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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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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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