Time for Phuket “to learn from mistakes’

PHUKET: Phuket should learn from the mistakes of the past while rebuilding after the December 26 tsunami, according to a world expert in sustainable tourism.

Gabor Vereczi, who analyzes sustainable tourism for the World Tourism Organization (WTO), told a tourism conference at the Pearl Village Hotel: “This is an important opportunity for Phuket and other destinations on the Andaman coast and tsunami-affected countries.

“They should learn from past mistakes, think about how they can offer better services to tourists, and how they can be better prepared for something like this.”

Mr Vereczi described Phuket as a “demonstration destination”, one which could be used to show other tsunami-affected areas how to recover, and re-develop tourism in a sustainable way.

Tourism involvement is very easy to measure and understand here, said Mr Vereczi, and the purpose of the seminar was to show tourist destinations elsewhere how to gather and analyse such information and use it to develop their tourist industries in a sustainable way, with Phuket being the example.

“We are going to report back to the private and public sectors both in Phuket and nationally. The important thing is not to provide specific suggestions for Phuket but to provide workshop methodology that can be used elsewhere,” he explained.

It was important, though, that only “accurate information” was used when promoting a destination, said Mr Vereczi.

The workshop, which ends tomorrow, was organized jointly by the WTO and the Thai Office of Tourism Development.

Phuket News
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