PHUKET: Born and bred in Phuket, Sriya Yongsakul is a well-known boating personality on the island. Hailing from the family that runs Phuket Boat Lagoon, Ms Sriya is a businesswoman, mother and sports enthusiast.
After spending her childhood in Phuket, she left for Bangkok to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Chulalongkorn University, and then to England to obtain her master’s in management. Rather than choosing to work abroad, she opted to return to her homeland.
“I was lucky to have been brought up in a working family as I saw how everything was built from scratch. We have good relationships with our teams and the public recognizes us as a humble, local family from Phuket. We stick to the principles of humility and peace and make sure to never involve ourselves in anyone else’s business or politics,” says Ms Sriya.
“I worked in Bangkok for a couple of years, and then came back to Phuket to help out in the family business. Since then, I worked on various projects before finally starting my own in Krabi.”
Her latest brainchild is ‘The Cleat Condominium’ at Krabi Boat Lagoon. She hopes that this project – which she credits equally to her husband, and father Kanit Yongsakul (founder of the Phuket Boat Lagoon) – will bring the Krabi community closer together.
“The condominium project is an expansion within the Krabi Boat Lagoon, in addition to a hotel that we own there,” she says. “Our vision is to bring more and more people to visit Krabi and help them mingle with other visitors and locals alike.”
Using the Phuket Boat Lagoon as a successful business model and recreating it in Krabi, Ms Sriya is ever appreciative of the raw natural beauty of Krabi. Being a businesswoman and entrepreneur, she has set her sights on international visitors from not only Phuket and Bangkok, but also Singapore, Hong Kong and other international locations.
“The tourists who come to Krabi want something different. Phuket is getting more and more crowded every day, whereas Krabi is a smaller and more relaxed destination where people can have their own peace of mind. It’s surrounded by natural beauty and is a perfect place to retreat back to nature and breathe fresh air,” she says. “It also has an international airport that visitors can directly fly to.”
Ms Sriya’s efforts have been reaping rewards already, as one of her Krabi developments was recently given the ‘Best Residential Development Award for Phang Nga/Krabi’ at the 2016 Thailand Property Awards.
“We are proud to receive this prestigious award because it’s the first one ever given to any project in Krabi. In past years there were no other outstanding property projects in Krabi and we are proud to say that we are one of the very first to come up with a proper development there,” she says.
Through her projects, Ms Sriya also helps to promote the local culture and tradition of the region surrounding the marina.
“A short distance from Krabi is a small island where locals make hand woven products, grow organic rice and so on. So if any of the guests staying at our marina want to do a cultural tour, we arrange for them to take a longtail trip to explore the surroundings. Most of our workers are locals who stay close to the marina. When we have our business up and running, it benefits them as well, as they can earn a better living by working with us,” she adds.
— Zohaib Sikander
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