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Phuket and neighboring islands can be brilliant to visit at any time

Phuket's 'Endless Summer' Summit: April 30

Monday, April 27, 2009
Forecasts and Cool Changes on Phuket

RESORT managers and tourism chiefs will be meeting on April 30 to talk about Phuket's weather. Economic forecasts for the island will be discussed, too.

Let's hope that day isn't windy or raining, because the whole idea is based on selling Phuket's so-called low season as ''Summer'' instead.

The real advance is that for the first time, key people will be gathering to talk about a collective island fightback.

In the face of the global economic downturn and Thailand's present political uncertainty, Phuket needs unity and strength every bit as much as it needs tourists.

If the power of a group that pulls in 90 percent of Phuket's revenue can be harnessed in the right way, great things are possible.

Every other group with a common purpose, from tuk-tuk drivers to brain surgeons, flexes its muscles by expressing an opinion occasionally. [Even, one might add, irate village communities.]

Why can't Phuket's resorts get together as a force for change?

There are some thoughtful groupings already that speak out occasionally, including the Thai Hotels Association.

But a group born from the current crisis just might have the will to generate change. That's the hope. But first, the marketing campaign.

The meeting, postponed last week because of a street blockade, was the brainchild of Indigo Real Estate managing partner Nick Anthony.

He believes that Phuket needs to be promoted as a year-round destination, hence the ''Summer in Phuket April-November'' campaign and a website,

''A friend called to say 'I'm going to Europe for a holiday because it's low season in Phuket.'

''I got a little bit angry. It's beautiful here the whole year long.''

The hope is that the current crisis generates support for a campaign that carries along with it every Phuket resort and tourism body.

Already the gathering, from 5.30pm-7pm at the Chedi, has attracted the support of the powerful Phuket PR Network.

Mr Anthony says backing has also been sought from the Minister for Tourism and the Governor.

A good rollup of island resort managers and tourism identities on April 30 seems assured, with the meeting planned in both Thai and English languages.

''Summer'' on Phuket may be stretching it a bit on days when the rain comes in bucketsful and the wind is rocking the palms.

But we know what they mean. And just as at the Chedi meeting, everyone is welcome to try the island, anytime.

Phuket Cancels the April to November Low Season, Chedi Resort, Surin, April 30, 5.30pm-7pm. Please confirm attendance with (English) Duane Lennie at 086-948-6836 or or (Thai) Juanita 86 476-8901

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