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The ninth annual Phuket boat show was regarded as a success

Phuket ResortWATCH: Earth Hour But No Power

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
HERE'S our new column, Phuket ResortWATCH, in which Phuketwan will provide the lowdown on the upbeat world of resorts and clubs around Phuket, Thailand and the region.
Social notes, media alerts, club news, celebrity visits, gossip . . . Send your info to editor@phuketwan.com Look for Phuket ResortWATCH regularly.

Earth Hour Doesn't Achieve Much

THE BACKLASH to Earth Hour has begun in Australia, where the idea began in 2007 as a promotional campaign to make a couple of Melbourne and Sydney newspapers look as though they cared about the environment. In 2012 on Phuket, the idea appears to have simply become another resort ''event'' to attract guests to spend money.

Does switching the lights off for an hour actually achieve anything? The organisers added the ''plus'' to Earth Hour 60+ this year in the hope that the event might extend beyond the official switch-off. So far on Phuket, there's no sign of that happening.

One respected journalist in Australia describes Earth Hour as a ''cynical commodification of concern'' and calls the addition of the plus sign ''another lame nod to advertising trickery (30+ sunscreen, Vitamins+, etc) but utterly meaningless.'' He goes so far as to say: ''Saturday night's switch-off might be the last.'' Tokenism is certainly no answer.

Laguna Learns the Language

LAGUNA PHUKET is placing its service staff through Mandarin language classes and partnering with local universities to obtain Mandarin-proficient students as temporary helpers in the lead up to April 15, when the first batch of Amway China representatives is due to arrive. Some 15,000 Amway China representatives will descend on Laguna Phuket between April 15 and May 15, with daily arrivals expected to number more than 600. Each group will spend five days at the integrated resort participating in business sessions, grand dinners and tours.

New Arrival Resort Brand on Phuket

SWISSOTEL Hotels & Resorts is about to add its first resort property in Asia to its portfolio. The international hotel group has been appointed the manager of the existing Courtyard by Marriott at Kamala Beach, re-branded as Swissotel Resort Phuket from April 1.

Name Change for Courtyards

TWO OTHER former Courtyard by Marriott Hotels on Phuket ''will be managed by the owning company for a period of approximately 30 to 40 days,'' says an email. ''In the mentioned intermediary period the Hotels will operate under the following names: Destination Patong Hotel and Spa, Destination Surin Resort and Spa.''

Awards Heading to Asia 12/12/12

WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS, the ''Oscars of the travel industry,'' has announced it will host its Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2012 at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi Capital Region, India on December 12. (Yes, it appears that's 12/12/12). The event will mark the first time that WTA's Grand Final will be hosted in Asia.

Waldorf on the Way to Thailand

HILTON HOTELS and Resorts has signed a management agreement with Magnolia Finest Corporation to introduce the first Waldorf Astoria hotel in Southeast Asia, which will also be Hilton Worldwide's ninth property in Thailand. Scheduled to open in 2015, the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok will be located on Ratchadamri Road in Bangkok's Patumwan District, and will form part of a 60-storey mixed-use tower.

Phuket Kitchen for One Top Chef

PHUKET'S trendy new RE KA TA Club on the Beach will host an exclusive culinary evening on April 6 with Jordi Roca. The youngest of the internationally renowned Roca brothers and a celebrity of the culinary world, Chef Jordi is known for his ''innovative and inherently creative style in desserts and for touching personal emotion through cuisine.'' El Celler de Can Roca - owned by the three Roca brothers, including older brothers Joan and Josep - has held three star status in the Michelin Guide since 2009. Among many accolades, in 2011 El Celler de Can Roca was voted second best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine.

Package for Mai Khao Beach

HOLIDAY INN Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach is offering a "Stay More, Benefits Galore" Package. Prices are 4216 baht a night now until April 15, and 3306 baht from April 16 to October 31. The package is inclusive of Deluxe Garden View Room with daily buffet breakfast, round trip transfer from and to Phuket airport, complimentary Internet connectivity and discount at the restaurants.

Luxury Songkhran in Krabi

AMARI VOGUE Krabi's three-night Songkran package is 27,000 baht per person. It covers three nights stay in a Deluxe Room, daily breakfast, airport transfers, a buffet dinner on April 13 and Internet connectivity. The promotion is good from April 11 to April 16. Situated on the sandy white shores of Tub Kaek Beach beside the tranquil blue of the Andaman Sea, Amari Vogue Resort is an intimate 57-room resort with elegant Lanna-inspired architecture in beautiful garden setting.

New THA Chief Named

THAI HOTELS ASSOCIATION named Surapong Techaruvichit as the new Thai Hotels Association president and identified chapter presidents for the 2012 to 2014 term. Mr Surapong is the owner of the Asia Hotel group and considered one of the veterans of Thai tourism development.

GM Speaks Five Languages

SANNE EMBORG has been appointed the new General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok. Sanne joined Marriott International in 2004 as Resident Manager of the Marriott Executive Apartments, Dubai Creek, where she was later also appointed to the position of General Manager. Sanne speaks five languages - Danish as her mother tongue; English; German; French; and Swedish.

Travel Agents Spread Wider

THE THAI TRAVEL AGENTS Association says it has established four regional offices to support travel agencies in the provinces. Branches are in Chiang Mai (North branch), Udon Thani (Upper North East branch), Phuket (upper south branch) and Hat Yai (lower south branch). All the branches have around 80 company members.

IBAP Listens Up on Asean

IBAP Networking meets April 6 at URBAN FOOD, Central Festival, to hear Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies and Associate Professor of International Political Economy at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. He is frequently quoted and his op-eds have regularly appeared in international and local media, including a column in The Bangkok Post.

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So very true about Earth Hour, resorts are just turning it into yet another marketing ploy/scam. There was even one resort here in Rawai who held an event and even changed the time to suit their needs.

Posted by phuket madness on April 3, 2012 10:05


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