PHUKET: Insecurity and uncertainty are likely to become more widespread among expats in Phuket's tourism industry as the ''Phuket model'' is being reshaped.
With the glow from the euro now less bright, salaries at the top level are coming under greater scrutiny.
People in marketing roles earning Western pay rates are simply the first row of sacrifices to the rise of the yuan and the ruble.
Nothing personal here: all decisions on Phuket at resorts are about the money.
Phuket resort managers freely admit that the role of marketing people has become less important and therefore non-essential in an age when more individual travellers are make their own judgements and booking online.
If the target is package tours, then in the countries that are becoming more important to Phuket, the number of people one needs to talk to has reduced considerably.
The best Thai workers in Phuket resorts now have enough experience and judgement - and often an extra language. They are gaining promotion, often at the expense of Western staffers.
What's even more impressive is that the best come at perhaps 70,000 baht a month, a quarter the cost of a topline expat with similar skills.
Resort general managers on Phuket are sometimes making some adjustments and performing certain PR tasks themselves or relying on an economical local employee to perform the more straightforward tasks.
The one problem is that there are not enough highly-skilled Thai staff. Tourists continue to note that three-star resorts on Phuket don't have enough staff who speak good English.
And if English skills are in short supply, then staff who speak good Chinese or Russian are also likely to be in great demand.
With nurses in the Philippines reportedly being offered courses in the Thai language, it's plain that the arrival of the Asean bloc economic community will mean even greater change for people seeking jobs.
More of the large resorts that were built on Phuket up to 20 years ago are expected to need refurbishment in the next few years.
This means more temporary closures, and more layoffs. So far, the majority of workers affected by this kind of inevitable change have been able to quickly find alternative work.
However, what's creating a degree of insecurity and uncertainty among the GMs themselves, not just their staff, are the signs that Phuket is leaning too much towards dependance on one or two markets.
The beauty of Phuket has always been its resilience to economic downturns in specific parts of the world because of its global approach to marketing.
That's the reason why those resorts that bite the bullet and continue to pay marketing staff well to target so-called ''quality'' tourists in Europe and Scandinavia may yet prove to be the smartest of all.