Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations

NEWS ALERTS

Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here

RSS FEEDS

A week ago when everything was different at ITB Berlin

Phuket Tourism Needs a Regular Reality Check

Friday, March 18, 2011
News Analysis

JUST A WEEK ago, the tourism world was full of certainties. Today? Destination Phuket, as with so many other holiday places, will be waiting anxiously to hear what happens next in Japan and in Libya.

Putting aside the aspects of travel that are beyond the control of all but a handful of leaders, some of them clearly crazy, Phuket emerged after ITB Berlin in reasonable shape.

Perhaps we were just lucky, but most of the industry sources we spoke to were positive about Phuket, with some reservations (reservations of the negative kind, not bookings, unfortunately).

Nina Lvanova, MD of Dream Travel of Bulgaria, said that not long ago Phuket had good resorts at good prices. Her customers would stay for a month.

These days, though, long-haul fares were more expensive and although Phuket was still an appealing destination, people tended to stay for just a couple of weeks.

The charms of Phuket, though, have worked on Ms Lvanova. ''When my husband and I retire, we plan to settle on Phuket,'' she said.

At the other end of the spectrum in terms of Phuket experience, Rob Hotson, Product Specialist (Asia) at Tasman Travel in The Netherlands, said: ''I have been to Thailand 15 times but never to Phuket. Next time I will visit, for sure.''

He said that Tasman Travel had ''just started to put Phuket on our map'' about eight weeks previously.

''The signal is very interesting, after only eight weeks, we are doing well with Phuket,'' he said.

''We have more then 200 agencies across Europe taking tourists to Thailand,'' he added. ''The numbers are looking good.

''And our customers these days prefer Phuket to Bali.''

Why is that? ''Well,'' said Mr Hotson, ''Thirty years ago, Bali was a lovely collection of fishing villages.

''Nowadays, Bali is a lot like Pattaya, with beer bars and McDonald's outlets.''

Oh. Remembering that Mr Hotson has yet to visit Phuket, we wonder how he will embrace the island, with its tuk-tuks and jet-skis. Patong, the village? It went thataway, last seen in Phang Nga or Krabi.

Still, the general message for Phuket was surprisingly positive.

We couldn't help but be distracted, though, by the Japanese stand, looking so forlorn after Friday's tsunami, and with the full impact of the damage to the nuclear power plant reactors yet to come.

Later, we couldn't help wondering how many of the 400,000 displaced Japanese, some now with little food and heat, had once dreamed of a holiday at this time of the year in sunny Phuket.

And how many years it will be before they can realise that dream.

The message from ITB Berlin and onwards is that Phuket and the tourism industry roll on regardless, turning dreams into reality, through the best of times, and the worst of times. Enjoy.
Phuket Murder: Butti Killers 'May Have Fled by Boat'
Latest The investigation into the murder of prominent Phuket and Phi Phi businessman Luciano Butti now extends to three provinces in the hunt for his killers, who may have fled by boat.
Phuket Murder: Butti Killers 'May Have Fled by Boat'

Phuket Tourist Thieves Flee After Robbing Swede
Latest A Chinese tourist who escaped on foot is being hunted by Phuket police, accused of being the leader of a gang of thieves who robbed the resort room of a Swedish tourist.
Phuket Tourist Thieves Flee After Robbing Swede

Phuket's New Reef 'to Extend North to South'
Breaking News Marine authorities plan to stretch the beginnings of an artificial reef the entire length of Phuket's major west coast beaches, from Bang Tao in the north to Nai Harn in the south.
Phuket's New Reef 'to Extend North to South'

Phuket's Road Toll Improves, But Drownings Increase
Latest Phuket's reputation on the roads is improving with a helmet safety campaign and a road toll that is improving in 2011. Drownings are going the other way, with more deaths so far.
Phuket's Road Toll Improves, But Drownings Increase

Phuket Passengers for Japan Offered Anti-Radiation Doses
Latest Staff at Phuket and Suvarnabhumi airports will offer iodine doses to passengers bound for Japan in case radiation might prove a greater problem that officials in Japan suggest.
Phuket Passengers for Japan Offered Anti-Radiation Doses

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Tuesday November 19, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

FOLLOW PHUKETWAN

Facebook Twitter