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Asean security: just passing through Phuket to Pattaya

Asean Switch Hurts Phuket But Thailand More

Friday, March 13, 2009
Phuketwan Analysis

PHUKET losing the next big Asean conference to Pattaya is one of those good news, bad news events.

The good news: Phuket is doing so well around the time the larger of two Asean conferences was scheduled in April that Bangkok officials couldn't find enough accommodation at the right kind of resorts.

The bad news: Phuket should be able to cope with large conferences of this kind as a matter of course. When will the island be given the facilities it needs?

The fact that Phuket was the preferred destination should sheet home to the government the need for real spending on infrastructure on the island.

Instead of enjoying the delights of Phuket's excellent beaches and glorious coral reefs, top government representatives from around the region will see Pattaya, Thailand's premier sex tourism destination: Nature at its worst.

Things are not going so well there as they are in Phuket. But the image of Thailand as a family holiday destination is likely to be dented somewhat by a Pattaya experience.

It's a shame but as far as the government is concerned, all we can say is sum num naa (serves you right.)

Had you forced your predecessors in government to give Phuket the facilities it has desperately needed for decades, you would be presenting a much more pleasant image of the country to people whose opinions count.

As Phuketwan has reported, resorts on the island are hoping for a boost in occupancy rates when Songkran and Easter collide next month.

The Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket, where the last Asean shindig was centred, reports a bookigs rate of 75 percent for Songkran-Easter. It's similar at other big Phuket resorts, and only a few meet security requirements for such a gathering.

Late bookings have become a trend in the tourism industry, so it's plain that there's another lesson for governments from this fiasco: book early, especially if you have an extra large family to accommodate.

Here's how the big switcheroo was reported in The Australian newspaper:

''The change comes just a week after Phuket was named to host the April 10-12 summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders plus China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India.

''The conference was originally due to take place in Bangkok in December, but was postponed after anti-Government protesters besieged the capital's airports and has since been repeatedly rescheduled.

''We have made a decision that the summit should be held in Pattaya,'' Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat told AFP, adding that it would likely be held at the plush Royal Cliff Beach Hotel.''

And just in case you have forgotten, the newspaper adds: ''The airport siege and other political unrest cost Thailand billions of dollars in economic damage and also harmed its status as a tourist destination.''

The much smaller Asean Plus One education summit is still going ahead on Phuket from April 5-9.

But Timor Leste (the Plus One) is not quite the in-crowd gang made up by the 10 nations of Asean plus China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India.

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Comments have been disabled for this article.


This is a bit of Pattaya trashing, and who says that the Pattaya hotels and resorts will not put on a great show for all the VIPs? Staying in Phuket would not have prevented them to see the beautiful nature of Patong, particulary the many beautiful ladies dressed in traditional costumes. Phuketwan usually is a great source of news and does an excellent job of presenting news in an open minded and fair way. Wolfgang Meusburger, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket, and very sorry we loose the business to Pattaya.

Posted by Wolfgang Meusburger on March 14, 2009 10:37


Yeah but Pattaya's sex district has it all over Phuket. Since every single ASEAN dignitary is male...why on earth would they prefer Phuket?

Posted by Christy on March 14, 2009 19:02


Lets just hope they sc %&w the persons for hire only and not the regional economy of all ASEAN countries.

Posted by Anon on March 15, 2009 10:00


I lived in Phuket and now in Pattaya, the latter of which is far superior to Phuket for virtually any function. Better streets, lovely ladies, lower costs and 5+ star accomodations and restaurants.

Posted by Don Aleman on April 8, 2009 20:49

Sunday November 28, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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