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TAT Director Anoma Vongyai believes Phuket's high season is 'quite strong'

Phuket High Season 'Looks Quite Strong'

Thursday, October 9, 2014
PHUKET: Bookings are ''quite strong'' from Europe for Phuket this high season, says the island's Tourism Authority of Thailand Director Anoma Vongyai.

''Britons, Germans and Scandinavians are still fans of Phuket and we are finding appeal in the new markets of the Middle east, China and India,'' she said.

Numbers will probably be down on last high season but Phuket was doing much better than other destinations in Thailand affected by the military takeover, Khun Anoma added.

Russians were not coming in such great numbers because they had problems of their own at home with the Ukraine.

''It's important that Phuket gets its appeal right,'' Khun Anoma said.

Back in 2009, when Khun Anoma was Deputy Director, she told Phuketwan that intense development of the island was continuing, raising the need for sustainability as a long-term strategy.

''Some businesses think we need more visitors but there has to be a balance,'' she said. ''We need quality tourists who will spend more.''

The key to the future, she told PW, lay with setting a finite maximum ''carrying capacity'' of Phuket, defining the island's ability to support a certain number of residents and visitors.

Not a lot has changed.

In a survey of Phuket resorts, Phuketwan was provided with the following information on occupancy rates and forward bookings. The first figure is percentage for October, the second for November and the third for December.

Katathani Phuket Beach Resort 83 55 52

Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa 70 26 14

Club Med Phuket 90 100 95

Diamond Cliff Resort and Spa 40 55 50

Merlin Phuket 56 61 60

Royal Phuket City 40 45 45

Patong Resort Hotel 79 60 40

Centara Karon Resort Phuket 83 72 76

Phuket Graceland Resort and Spa 66.30 82.01 45.18

Novotel Phuket Resort 67.05 44.76 38.47

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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A high percentage of Russians, Indians & Chinese who might be considered well off in their own countries, do not command a fraction of the salaries of westerners. It is logical that they then do not have the same spending power outside their own country. I am afraid that as always, TAT is clutching at straws. Bums on seats does not equate with quality spending tourists, especially in they are pre-paid package in their own countries.

Posted by Logic on October 9, 2014 10:38

Editor Comment:

As the article says, Logic, fewer Russians are coming. The rest we know . . .

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TAT can not be trusted...

Room allotment to large tour-operators and booking online providers is one thing; by the way, bookings with confirmation with a deposit is another story.

Many dive operators, yacht charter operators and large hotels have good bookings through allotment system but full confirmation of the allotments is far from full bookings and free individual traveller (FIT) are just a few to request informations for the coming season.

Sure, we will have tourists coming but certainly less than previous seasons and bargain prices for good deals will be the main opportunity for those penniless travellers.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on October 9, 2014 11:18

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''We need quality tourists who will spend more.''

No, Khun Anoma. What you need is to provide quality services, infrastructure, safety standards, transportation and attitudes for tourists.

To think you can attract a higher paying (and demanding) clientele without improving the quality of services you offer is unrealistic, or as Thais would say " Fun Pai Thur "

Here's a insider tip for you - Talk to the tourists and expats and ask them what they want and think.

Posted by Herbert on October 9, 2014 11:50

Editor Comment:

As the story says, Khun Anoma made those comments five years ago. She is possibly almost as knowledgeable as you are now about tourism.

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Headline number of tourists (projected or actual) is rather meaningless information. Even room bookings information is useless as we don't know if that's quality independant tourists or tour groups.

What we need is breakdowns of either nationality or origen. The holiday spending of the average individual northern European/American/Australian far outstrips that of even 10 average Russians/Chinese/Indians.

Pressure needs to be put on the airports to provide this information so business can make appropriate plans

Posted by Lashay on October 9, 2014 14:07

Editor Comment:

I am fairly sure you can but an information package from the TAT.

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Phuket has treated it's guests so badly in the past a lot won't go back. I keep trying to find a reason to go back but can't. I've even given up flying to Phuket now Air Asia flies to most provinces. There's so may other places to visit at half the cost and half the hassles. Phuket might of left it too late to try and get it's sh#t together.

Posted by Arun Muruga on October 9, 2014 14:37

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TAT finally defines what a quality tourist is someone who spends more now they are armed with this important revelation they can soar to meteoritic heights with a strategy to find people who spend more, there time would be better spent speaking to those that are already here & why they wouldn't come back the concept of return custom seems unknown here & unexplored.

Posted by slickmelb on October 9, 2014 17:01

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"Bookings for high season look quite strong"...the figures shown above seem to be shockingly bad. Six weeks until beginning of December and the Hilton Arcadia has an occupancy rate of 14 % (!!!!) as of the date of today!!!??? This is absolutely nothing.

Posted by Joshua on October 9, 2014 18:04

Editor Comment:

December? People book late these days.

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"It's important that Phuket gets its appeal right." Khun Anoma said.

An appeal to stop drowning?

Posted by farang888 on October 9, 2014 21:34

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"The key to the future...
defining the island's ability to support a certain number of residents and visitors."

The island's ability to support a certain number of tourists is up to the tourist.

I just voted with my feet- and will not be coming to Thailand in 2014, because I ALSO have the ability to be reactive,and choose not to support TAT this year with one satang, wooden or otherwise.

Posted by farang999 on October 9, 2014 22:01

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''It's important that Phuket gets its appeal right,'' Khun Anoma said.

Phuket had appeal - 20, 15 arguably even 10 years ago. Started to lose it since then & the rest has been downhill. Go back & see what its appeal was in the past & try to recapture that.

Rhetoric won't do it. It's intense development that has caused the decline. It was sustaining before quite comfortably.

Posted by Logic on October 10, 2014 00:40

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Russians are harassing their own citizens for wearing western style clothing, those especially with western logos. A patriotic upheaval is weeping through Russia, celebrating its further separation from the west or Western ideals. The ruble is falling like a rock, the price of basic food and living items are rising. dramatically. Taking a foreign vacations seems less likely for the average Russian this high season. certainly tourists who are put off by Russian behaviors may find it easier to decide to take in Thailand. Still I am seeing a slow rise of Russians in Patttaya, possible prepaid tours or those who astutely saved their USD. I would suspect to see more (traditional Europeans) English,Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, French etc and Americans, but still high season numbers will be dramatically down from years past, due to Coups, safety issues, and the huge changes to the beach, such as lack of sun protection and service from vendors.

Posted by Capealava on October 10, 2014 02:16

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This time last year (and for the preceding weeks) which, I think, was just before the protests in Bangkok started the UK press was awash with articles promoting Thailand. The holiday advert pages were dominated by deals for Thailand. It was reported that Thailand was the fastest growing long haul destination for the UK market with many travellers choosing to desert the traditional Mediterranean resorts, the Caribbean and even Disney World Florida for the tropical delights of LOS. In recent weeks, even before the tragic events on Koh Tao, Thailand virtually gets no mention. Airlines which serve the UK route have had more frequent "sales" than I can recall and when I look at various High Season dates for those serving Phuket (and neighbouring provinces) particularly the Gulf Airlines, Emirates, Qatar and Etihad, who all now fly non-stop to Phuket, there are plenty of empty seats even over the Peak Xmas/New Year Period. With due respect to TAT that does not appear "quite strong" at least in relation to UK or indeed other European countries using that route. Now is the time that TAT should be promoting all the improvements for tourism in Thailand in general and the Andaman region in particular that have been brought about by the actions of the Military Government.

Posted by Alan on October 11, 2014 02:33

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The answer going around is that the "looks quite strong" is not. It might be strong, but smell is not everything. Might be a good time for some greng jai?

Posted by Duncan B on October 12, 2014 12:05

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Rubbish... all channel managers are reporting higher cancellations and lower bookings. Its the old saying you cant make a silk purse from a pigs ear and Patong is a pigs ear and then some!

Posted by abigmagilla on October 19, 2014 09:31


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