Certainly, there are issues, but Phuket 2012 maintains plenty of appeal. Tourists are arriving in record numbers. Despite the continuing good news, we are obligated to ask: will that appeal last if Phuket's problems go unfixed?
Two decades is the period of time usually categorised as a generation. Casting back to the turn of the century, Phuket was a beautiful, unspoiled place. We are now just over halfway towards the next-generation year, 2020. How many people can say with honesty that Phuket will be a better place in 2020 than it is now, or than it was in 2001, if those Phuket problems remain unsolved?
In the past, many people have left it to others to right Phuket's wrongs. That can no longer continue. The problems have grown larger, with Phuket. Today, in a world where the Internet and social media report both good and bad events around the clock, instantly, news travels faster than ever.
With Phuket's innovative quarterly honorary consuls' forums, the steady growth of its own media and a better-informed population, Phuket's attitudes are fast moving from a national viewpoint to an international outlook. Along with others, Phuketwan does its best every day to report the good with the bad, and to also report events in other tourist destinations around the region and the world. Bali shares many of Phuket's issues: in the beautiful Caribbean, some tourists destinations suffer serious crime. The point is that the 'Jaws' days when authorities could suppress the bad news and only allow the good to be reported have gone.
We once asked a director of the Phuket Tourism Authority of Thailand office what he would say to corrupt officials on Phuket if he had the chance. ''Do your job,'' he responded. ''Do your job.'' And let's face it, if everybody had done their jobs between 2001 and today, Phuket would be close to perfect. Even so, assailed by the 2004 tsunami and many smaller issues along the way, Phuket has survived and deservedly prospered as a tourist destination. Yet the mantra expressed by our friend, the former TAT official, remains true. We have no hesitation in repeating it: ''Do your job.''
Phuketwan tries to do its job, by reporting daily, without fear or favor, both the bad and the good in a world where news of all kinds can be read instantly, everywhere. There is no prospect of a return to the past, which is why events on Bali are reported as completely and openly today as events in Singapore, Sydney, Shanghai . . . or on Phuket.
We have offered some suggestions in the PHUKET 10/10 series because we want to make Phuket a more perfect place for residents and visitors, a place with a prosperous future, a place of high international standards both inside and outside resorts. And we sincerely hope that whoever writes the 'PHUKET 2020' series is able to report: the job has been done.