Connect with us


Phuket tourism operators warned to prepare for AFTA



Phuket tourism operators warned to prepare for AFTA | Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket tourism operators were warned very plainly yesterday that they must become game-changers if they want to stay in business after 2015.

The warning was fired at the Phuket Creative Tourism Forum held at Royal Phuket Marina. The forum was organized by the Phuket Tourism Association (PTA) in conjunction with Phuket Rajabhat University’s Faculty of Management Science.

Somprasong Khomapat, Inspector-General of the Ministry of Tourism & Sports, opened the event with a no-nonsense description of Phuket’s tourism playing field.

“Phuket is its own brand. People know where Phuket is without saying ‘in Thailand’. The challenge is how to preserve the good things that Phuket has, how to develop human potential to compete with other ASEAN tourist cities, and how to create Phuket tourism as sustainable industry,” Somprasong said.

“Potential staff is the most important part to make the difference and add value to our tourism products and services. Members may learn some answers from this seminar,” Mr Somprasong said.

PTA President Somboon Jirayus highlighted that the clock was ticking, with the ASEAN Free-Trade Agreement (AFTA) due to come into effect in 2015.

“Thailand will join AFTA in next four years, which means stronger competition among ASEAN members. So we cannot keep running our businesses using the same old strategy. We have to create new strategies to keep the old customers and attract new ones,” he said.

Mr Somboon explained that the PTA had set the goal of developing Phuket as “City of Creative Tourism”.

“To support that goal, we are holding this seminar to help our members exchange ideas and to listen to new comments from invited experts on creative issues,” he said.

The first session of the event was a stage discussion entitled “How to develop Phuket’s potential to be ready to join AFTA”.

“Phuket should focus on maintaining brand positioning and we should bring in more creative persons from throughout ASEAN to work with us, because everybody already wants to come here for vacation. We need to offer something different,” said Prof Chira Hongladarom, Secretary-General of the Foundation for International Human Resource Development.

“IT facilities and human capacity should also be a primary focus of development,” he added.

Mr Somprasong of the Ministry of Tourism & Sports suggested Phuket rekindle ties with sister city Nice, in France.

“It would be a good chance to add value to Phuket by bringing back this relationship. When people talk about Nice, people will associate Phuket with it,” he said.

Vichit Na Ranong, one of the pioneers of Phuket tourism and a former president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, expressed concern about preserving Phuket’s natural resources, which he said was still the key factor in attracting tourists.

“We are so proud of the income generated from tourism and the number of visitors we attract, and the worldwide recognition we have gained, but our success is not yet complete.

“Everyone is happy to reap the benefits from Phuket’s land, sea, sand and sun, which are considered our main ‘arteries’, but few people are concerned about preserving them,” he said.

“I worry that if our natural resources are destroyed, then there will be nothing left for us to compete with,” Mr Vichit added.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand21 mins ago

Is the dream over? China walks back Belt & Road ambitions

Politics1 hour ago

Prasert levels 6-billion corruption accusations at Prayut

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Baht plunges to 38 against USD for the first time in 16 years

Sponsored3 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Phuket2 hours ago

Phuket dwellers honour 10th Lunar Month

Thailand2 hours ago

Thai govt owes 100 million baht to hospitality industry

Thailand3 hours ago

BMA reveals Bangkok druggies buy yaba online 

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket3 hours ago

Delivery driver & customer brawl over payment in Phuket

Transport3 hours ago

Thai Airways flying high at Skytrax Awards

Thailand3 hours ago

Soi Dog Foundation steps up fight against rabies and dog meat trade in Vietnam

Visa4 hours ago

Thailand to extend Smart Visa scheme to draw talent

Cannabis4 hours ago

Can I take cannabis on domestic flights in Thailand?

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand pays 3.8 billion baht for first train hub in hospital

Transport5 hours ago

Bomb scare on flight from San Francisco to Singapore

South5 hours ago

English teacher’s body found in South Thailand

Hot News5 hours ago

Indian teacher flees after beating lowest caste student to death over spelling mistake

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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