Phuket rates high at world travel show

PHUKET: A big roadshow to London and Paris last week did not have to persuade travel agents that Phuket was a safe destination, it was announced today. Feedback was “fantastic” and another roadshow is being planned, this time to Japan, returning officials told the Gazette. Dr Prasit Koeysiripong, President of the Phuket Provincial Administratrion Organization (OrBorJor), said, “The president of Asia Voyage company told me that he had no doubt about Phuket security, so the warning list of destinations issued by the company doesn’t include Phuket.” Asia Voyage sends about 10,000 French tourists to Phuket each year, said Anupharp Thirarath, Director of the Phuket Office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). More than 100 countries were represented at the annual World Travel Market 2002 in Britain. Phuket officials distributed more than 2000 CDs promoting the island as a “world-class destination” and later met with travel companies and TAT officers in Paris. Dr Prasit said Phuket’s profile had been raised by its recent win as best tourist destination in the Asia-Pacific region for 2002 in the World Travel Awards, an annual survey of travel agents around the world. “I talked with company representatives and the general public and there was nobody who didn’t know about Phuket,” he said. “Some of them had visited many times.” Hanchai Chantarachota, president of the OrBorJor’s Tourism Committee, forecast greater spending on tourism and promotion, with 20 million baht being allocated for promotion and development.

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