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Marketing to music, 'One Week in Phuket' offers a new audience

Phuket Sold in Song to Scandinavians

Friday, May 25, 2012
PHUKET: The latest move to promote the charms of Phuket comes in the shape of Markoolio, a Scandinavian recording artist who has put his heart and soul into a song entitled 'En Vecka i Phuket' (One Week in Phuket).

Behind the unusual marketing strategy is the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which hopes Markoolio - real name Marko Kristian Lehtosalo - can do for Phuket what Lady Gaga has done for copy Rolex watches.

While Markoolio's fan base is slightly smaller than Lady Gaga's, the TAT anticipates that the video accompanying 'One Week in Phuket' will help to entice a younger audience to Phuket.

Previous generations of Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and Finns have flocked to Phuket for its natural beauty.

As the song and its accompanying music video - filmed on location in Phuket - indicate, the trend is to the fun activities that visitors can enjoy in what's said to be the ''world-renowned tropical island paradise.''

Markoolio was born in Finland and raised in Sweden, so his appeal is wide. 'En Vecka i Phuket' has recently rolled out in Finland, Norway and Sweden, while the music video is getting broad exposure on both traditional broadcast and social media.

More than 90,000 YouTube views notched the first few weeks is an indication that Lady Gaga isn't the only performer going around.

In the video, Markoolio parties on Phuket's beautiful beaches, explores Phuket, tries his hand at Thai boxing Phuket style, visits a Phuket spa, and enjoys many other Phuket experiences, all to the ''infectious beat and delightful lyrics'' of the 'En Vecka i Phuket' soundtrack.

TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni thinks the new approach to selling Phuket will work.

''Visitors from Finland, Norway and Sweden especially love Thai beaches and cultural attractions,'' he said. ''Thailand offers tremendous value for unique experiences, a huge variety of attractions, delightful cuisine and a full range of accommodations that greatly appeal to Europeans, particularly during these economically-challenging times.

Figures from the region, traditionally great travellers to Phuket especially, support the governor's contention.

In 2011, the combined total number of arrivals from Norway, Finland, and Sweden to Thailand was more than 600,000, which was around 3.2 percent of all international visitors to Thailand. Most of those visitors would continue on to Phuket.

The song is not the only thing that Thailand and Phuket have as selling points in Sweden.

A popular television series, '30 Degrees', based on the life of a Swede who visits Thailand for a holiday and then decides to settle down in Phuket, has attracted more than 1.3 million viewers.

And the big screen has caught the Phuket bug, too. A recent romantic comedy called 'En Gang i Phuket' (Once in Phuket) became a hit, ranking number two in Swedish box office standings during the month it was launched and attracting more than 370,000 movie-goers.

''All of this positive exposure contributes to the recognition of Thailand as the top value-for-money dream destination for Scandanavians and other travellers from all over the world,'' Governor Suraphon said.

The TAT expects the Markoolio song and music video will encourage a new generation of visitors to experience Phuket and many other great places and attractions that Thailand offers.

Scandinavian travellers typically visit Thailand for 13 to 17 days, spending on average 3500 to 4000 baht per person each day. Perhaps that song should have been 'One Fortnight on Phuket'?


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Youtube it with "Markoolio - En vecka i Phuket".
About the TV series, it was OK but they did show lot of negative stuff about Thailand but still it was as near reality some can encounter while they are in LOS

Posted by Xexpat on May 25, 2012 10:41

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