Phuket Tourist Association elects new leader

PHUKET: The Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) has elected Maitree Narukatpichai as its new president, replacing Pattanapong Aekwanich, and has at the same time announced its policy agenda for 2006-2008.

K. Maitree, Owners’ Representative of the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, was elected, along with a new 18-member committee, at a meeting at the Phuket Merlin Hotel. The PTA elects a new board every three years.

Panu Maswongsa, Krisada Tansakul, Kitti Pattanachinda, Somboon Jirayus and lawyer Sarayuth Mullum were elected as vice-presidents were .

Khun Maitree said that the PTA will promote domestic tourism in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and airlines.

International tourism, to be promoted in collaboration with the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization and the TAT, will target tourists abroad through road shows and trade shows. The PTA will continue to push for more international scheduled and charter flights direct to Phuket.

K. Panu Maswongsa, who has long served as a PTA spokesman, explained that the PTA will target airlines in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

“We are [also] pushing to get more tourists during off-peak periods. We already have tourists from Russia due to come in August. Chinese and South Korean groups have been coming in July and are booked for August.

“We are also looking to boost the number of visitors from southern Europe,” he said.

Again, a priority is direct flights, he noted. “We will take Istanbul in Turkey as the hub for southern Europe. If we can get direct flights from Istanbul to Phuket, we should get tourists from [such countries as] Portugal and Greece.

“We will start working on this project soon. If it’s successful we will have tourists from this region to fill our hotels in the low season,” K. Panu said.

Other new PTA committee members elected are: Chanadda Atiset, Sathaporn Wongpaisan, Dr Jirachai Amornpairoj, Rattanada Choobal, Chernporn Karnchanasaya, Wichai Ruangjaruwattana, Jinnidapa Cheunsakulthitichote, Duangrawee Sirirak, Mongkol Boonporn, Surasak Tharapattana, Sirikul Ammaramorn and Wissut Kasayapanant.

The PTA also appointed outgoing president K. Pattanapong as a consultant, along with Marina Cottage owner Somchai Limpanont and Methee Tanmanatragul, a representative of the Conrad Phuket Resort and Spa.

Phuket News

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