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Travel alerts don't reveal the truth: that Phuket remains a safe haven

Phuket Expats say, 'We Shall Overcome'

Saturday, May 22, 2010
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PHUKET expat wheelers and dealers met last night to work out ways of repairing the damage inflicted by the political turmoil in Bangkok.

The general consensus was positive, and most of the 100-odd expat business folk who turned out were confident Phuket's appeal as a world-renowned holiday destination would eventually bounce back to what it once was, and that the tourists would return.

But most agreed there would be tough times ahead before the good times came back.

The informal meeting, at the Watermark Restaurant at the Boat Lagoon in Phuket City, was a joint effort organised by four island expat networking groups: the International Business Association of Phuket (IBAP), the British Business Association of Phuket (BBAP), The Australian Chamber of Commerce (Auscham), and the Lighthouse Club.

Yacht broker Marcus Overman said: ''We managed to get over all the other hurdles, such as the tsunami, the One-Two-Go plane crash, and the 2008 airport closures, and we will get over this one as well.

''It might take some time, but we can do it.''

Quentin Lowe, from Simpson Marine, said the protests and the red shirt riots were confined to Bangkok and northern Thailand, and Phuket was still a safe haven.

''Thailand has had something like nine coups, so we need to promote Phuket as a safe destination, well away from the troubles,'' he said.

Harry Usher, from Lady Pie, said Phuket was different to the rest of Thailand, and because there were now so many direct flights to Phuket, the island's tourism industry would always be successful.

''But right now, we need all those foreign governments to lift their travel warnings,'' he said.

Jason Beavan, the sales director for Newspaper Direct, is confident the tourists will keep coming back, despite the political problems in the capital.

''If they devalued the baht, it would attract more investment money, and the tourists would be getting even better value for their money,'' he said.

Robert Leticq, who runs the Privileges Card company, said the tourists would return once they realised that Phuket was still safe and that all the problems were in Bangkok and the north of Thailand.

''But we need to give the tourists something to add value to their holidays, such as good deals on accommodation and discount cards,'' he said.

Byron Jones, who heads Island Radio 91.5FM, said the road back from the brink needs to be paved with good news stories about Phuket.

''We also need to provide value for money for holidaymakers, from the tuk-tuks to the major hotels, which should be putting together good deals for their customers,'' he said.
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Comments

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''We need all those foreign governments to lift their travel warnings,'' he said.
Well Mr Usher, safety comes before your profits for most governments. Think hard about what you say .

Posted by Lord Jim on May 22, 2010 14:18

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Amazing, totally amazing, not one person is suggesting a solution, other than sweeping all the endemic problems under the carpet.

Phuket collectively should have the most active farang pressure group in the country, to bring about genuine change and reconciliation.

Two women killed and five soldiers wounded in the south today, to date they have not brought their cause to Phuket, but can you imagine the consequences if they did?

Posted by Peter Jones on May 22, 2010 20:35


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