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A Banyan Tree villa pool by night . . . popular for small gatherings

Laguna Phuket to Mark 25th Birthday

Friday, May 18, 2012
PHUKET: Laguna Phuket, having hosted a game-changing seminar for about 16,000 Amway reps from China, is now gearing up for the annual marathon and its own 25th birthday party.

It's worth pointing out that surveys indicated almost 95 percent of the Amway group were positive about their Phuket experience, which means that if all 16,000 each talk to 100 people about Phuket, the word of mouth positive multiplier is 1.6 million.

What's more, the resort complex coped with the tsunami alert and the earthquake with its epicentre just down the road without a quibble from Amway, which is a sign that perhaps visitors from China are less pernicketty than they are sometimes depicted.

It was, according to Debbie Dionysius, Assistant Vice President of Destination Marketing for Laguna Phuket, perhaps the most laid-back of Amway's annual rewards and incentives confabs.

For the first time, even the gala dinners and big nights out at places such as FantaSea were all shorts and sandals casual, an approach that was apparently greeted with relish by Chinese who aren't used to such wonderfully consistent tropical weather.

''The days at Panyee stilt village in Phang Nga Bay with 1200 Chinese making the trip were something to behold,'' she said.

''Other tourists who happened to be wherhever the Amway group went were somewhat bemused onlookers. It's all part of the Phuket experience.''

August 25 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Laguna Phuket, still perhaps Phuket's leading large scale innovators.

As it happens, KP Ho, one of the brothers who founded the seven-resort complex on a tin mine wasteland, celebrates his 60th birthday on August 24, so it's expected to be quite a shindig for those on the invitation list.

Laguna has been the birthplace of the Banyan Tree brand and the pool villa, among the pioneers of the link between resorts and property development, and the marketers who led the ''Phuket is Back!'' campaign after the 2004 tsunami.

The annual Phuket marathon is another good idea that comes in just a couple of weeks, on June 8-10. This year, says Ms Dionysius, the aim will be to raise two million baht to set up a mobile learning centre.

The school-on-wheels will tour poorer parts of Phuket and neighboring Phang Nga to allow schoolchildren to benefit from state-of-the-art computers and internet connections and the skills of Rajabhat University teachers.

It sounds an idea almost worth donning runners and covering the 42 kilometres to achieve.

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Saturday February 4, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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