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Andaman resorts are offering great deals that will grow even better

Phuket's New Low Wipes Smiles From Faces

Monday, May 17, 2010
Phuket Economic Analysis

FORWARD bookings for Phuket resorts have dropped to 15 percent for June as the Andaman region confronts the flow-on damage and unnecessary pain of the political crackdown in Bangkok.

Global coverage of the violent urban guerrilla standoff in the streets of the capital has put Thailand's tourism industry into a downward spiral that will cost thousands of jobs, drive investment dollars to rival destinations and wipe the smile off the country's welcoming face.

Frustratingly for a destination that remains largely peaceful and highly appealing, nothing can be done about it.

The good news: If you are looking for a luxury holiday with all the extras at a five-star resort, the next six months will give you the opportunity to indulge at some of the world's swankiest resorts on Phuket and along the Andaman coast, with spa packages and other extras all at discount prices. If you happen to be cashed up and looking to buy a great resort with what amounts to an exclusive beach or a private tropical villa, now is the time to make a reasonable offer.

The bad news: If you have just invested hundreds of millions of baht in a new resort or a theme park or both, you may have to redraw your profit-making graph over a much longer period. If you have just invested in a guesthouse, those five-star discounts will soon be coming at prices that may force you to close. Go lie on a beach.

Timing in the tourism industry in Thailand is everything. Whether you are buying, selling, building or branding, the natural attractions of the destination and its hospitable people must now be weighed against the chances of a return to something approaching political stability, or a descent towards civil war.

Informed guesses are all that's possible in the current uncertain climate of burning tyre smoke and bamboo spears.

The trouble is that mayhem hundreds of kilometres away in Bangkok means pain for Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga.

The Marketing Officer for the Thai Hotels Association, Southern Chapter, Bhuritt Maswongssa, said today that forward bookings for Phuket in June were down to 15 percent, dramatically lower than usual for this time of the year.

But it's worse in Phang Nga and Krabi, where many resort and guesthouse owners will lay off staff and walk away until November and the next high season.

If there is such a thing as good timing for death and destruction, then at least the Andaman is now in the low season. Only Grade A optimists could possibly refer to it by the new marketing tag of ''summer.''

Phang Nga Governor Yiamsuriya Palusuk told Phuketwan that the province has about 6000 rooms compared to 40,000 on Phuket and 14,000 in Krabi. Khao Lak was the main centre for tourism there, he said.

''Normally it's quiet in Khao Lak for six months of the year,'' he said. ''People who work here know that low means low. They understand the circumstances. Even without this tragedy, many places close for the low six months.

''The five-stars and four-stars, on the other hand, do ok all year long and are at 40 to 50 percent occupancy at the moment,'' he said.

The region, badly hit by the tsunami in 2004, had many natural attractions and could rely upon a strong core of returning guests.

''We also hope to get some money from the government to revive the tourism industry just as soon as the current crisis comes to an end,'' he said.
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Comments

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The outcome of a red shirts' surrender or the use of force by the military to break down the uprising would not stop the true problems of Thai society, which are poverty and corruption.
Look at all pictures and TV and you will see that the 5-6000 red shirts are not scholars and educated people but poor people from upcountry.

The worst will be months and maybe years ahead until academics and politicians come out of their dens to push the needed reforms in Thailand, which are blocked by greedy businessmen and rogue politicians.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on May 17, 2010 19:32

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Summer season - hurricane, typhoon, tornado seem a more apt description.

If the fundamental flaws of Thai society are not addressed and resolved completely soon, we may well be looking at the the whole of the high season being cancelled as well.

Posted by Peter Jones on May 18, 2010 16:16

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A very true and thoughtful statement of the actual situation, unfortunately there are still too many people out there who "just don't get the writing on the wall".

If Phuket continues the downward spiral of crime and cheating of tourists, it will dug itself a grub too big to get out anytime soon.

Posted by Mac on May 19, 2010 03:14


Friday August 23, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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