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.