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Phuket's ladyboy magic draws the crowds at ITB Asia in Singapore

What Phuket Needs to Do Next to Win More Tourists: Exclusive

Saturday, October 20, 2012
SINGAPORE: Phuket's pulling power as an Asian holiday tourist magnet is second to none. But it's beaches need greater care and attention.

Those were the key conclusions after the three-day ITB Asia ended in Singapore yesterday, with Phuketwan on the spot to survey participants and assess the reaction of visitors from more than 120 countries.

Phuket's stand, enhanced by the katoeys ladyboys at a Simon Cabaret kiosk nearby, drew more visitors than the Thailand stand.

''Reaction has been great,'' said new Phuket Tourism Association President Ponganan Suwannakarn. ''However, we do need to turn our attention to maintaining quality.

''A lot of work is needed, especially on Phuket's beaches. The beaches need to be improved quickly.''

With sustainability now the important strategy for Phuket's future, Phuket nevertheless could draw great heart from the reaction of agents and the public at the Singapore show.

Over the three days, about 400 inquiries were made that should produce sealed deals for the resorts and other businesses who took the trouble to make the trip.

It was Phuket's first venture at ITB Asia, but there's no doubt that on Phuket's performance, the island will be back again.

Tourists from China and other Asian destinations are now the lifeblood for Phuket during the April-October monsoon season.

China can only become more important.

While the Thai government's transfer of the long-awaited Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Centre to Chiang Mai was viewed as a betrayal, Phuket can still hope to enhance its enduring magnetism . . . provided its natural attractions continue to match the appeal of Phuket's ladyboy katoeys at ITB Asia.

The organisations that travelled from Phuket for the show were:

Andaman Embrace Resort & Spa; Ayara Hilltop Boutique Resort & Spa; Banthai Beach Resort & Spa; Blue Ocean Resort, Patong; Dewa Phuket; Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa; Indigo Pearl Phuket; Katathani Phuket Beach Resort; Merlin Beach Resort; Nai Yang Beach Resort Hotel; Ocean Resort Group, Phuket; Patong Resort; Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa; Phuket Simon Cabaret; R-mar Resort & Spa, Patong; Sri panwa; The Front Village; The Racha Resort; The Royal Paradise Hotel & Spa; The Surin Phuket; Woraburi Phuket Resort & Spa.

Phuketwan, the only Phuket media outlet to have paid its way to the larger ITB Berlin fair, travelled to Singapore this time with the PTA.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Quality is the key to long-term success and one of the weakpoints so far. If Phuket doesn't start to take care about this, it will loose it's advantage to other destinations such as Burma, Vietnam and Laos.

Posted by Jakub on October 20, 2012 16:39


Yes, the beach is the only problem in phuket...? The Chinese and Indians will save Phuket...maybe the ladyboys as well..

Phuket will not change. For the simple reason because it`s everywhere in thailand like that!

The traffic will grow, the service will fall and the tourism will go down with it...

If you look at the full picture you will see that there is no intention to change anything!
See the big problems thailand is facing.
Few examples: huge traffic problem in bangkok.
overcrowded airports, corrupt prisons, corrupt police force, who is not corrupt? There is nowhere intention to change anything nationwide. Why they should? the money is coming.

That it will be to late to change anything after.... Nobody believe that...

the truth, that`s how it is here...

RIP Phuket

Posted by mike on October 20, 2012 18:36


The only thing needed is 'Quality' to create a sustainable tourism industry in Phuket.

Phuket (and Thailand) truly have to get a wake-up call to understand the word ''sustainability''!

Unfortunately authorities and people in power will only wake up when it's too late e.g. tourist will start to stay away!

Reports are out that arrivals at Phuket are 'up' each year, but totally ignore that those statistics includes arrivals AND departures, the ever increasing domestic business travelers and the fast growing area north of Phuket.

Any person with a vision would put all effort on preserving on what is left and on restoring the former beauty and image of Phuket! Sort out problems with corruption, scam and rip-offs and enforcing laws to create a Phuket to be proud off and a Phuket where our children will still be able to make a living would make more sense!

Posted by Mr. K on October 20, 2012 20:53


Quality is 1 thing that need to be looked at. But Phuket are 3 times more expensive than Bangkok too.
And they have problems wit tuc tuc drivers. As well as beaches are becoming poluted. As far as I am concerned I rather go other places in Thailand, like Cha am, Hua Hin, Krabi and even Pattaya.
But I really am thinking of next trip, it might go to Vietnam or Burma. Thailand has become old and changes are sometimes too slow. Many I talk with say the same.

Posted by Jhonny on October 21, 2012 01:38


The words may change (from 'green' to sustainability) but the problems don't get solved. Everyone knows the problems but little gets done about it as too many hands are in the pot. Phuket needs a true reformer. Who is going to step up? Good luck to the new governor. Putting all your eggs in one basket with China is not a good idea either. The package tours are killing small businesses and only helping mega-resorts and their chosen affiliates. Diversify and maybe find out why we have lost so many of the quality tourists and how others get them. Hope they got something out of this conference besides a nice weekend.

Posted by Jon on October 21, 2012 07:44

Thursday July 18, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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