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Hope in the High Season?

Category: , Posted:13 Dec 2010 | 08:49 am

The Nation.
Zero hour is upon us in Phuket or more appropriately meta-tagged as tourism high season. An alarming rise of stampeding groups of travellers roaming the island like packs of hungry wolves, looking to devour anything they set their ravenous eyes upon.
Walking talking Euros are not denominated in cold hard cash but in counting crows and flocks of seagulls circling high over the Andamam Sea. A sign of he times could be following the rise of the sun in the East though in this case it's Moscow and beyond, sprouting charter flights from faraway Vladivostok.
Anxious developers and real-estate agents are cautiously peering out the spy holes of their front doors wondering what all the noise is about. Do they dare to venture out, and if so to say what?
Not since the Vietnam War has the phrase R& R had more hidden symbolism then a satiated market with a bulging waistline. A voluminous eater pushing back from the table after an eight-course meal featuring resales and rentals.
Housing unit completions over the past two years worked in time-lapse pattern while the world went to hell in a hand basket. Yet a foreign dominated sector that had already paid cash for units witnessed them rise from the ground like Phoenix from the ashes.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards echoed the pain in Gimme Shelter, echoing sentimentally “if I don't get some shelter, oh yeah I'm gonna fade away".
Just around the corner pecks Santa croaking out “Tis the season to be jolly.” The big man's got an identity crisis at the moment though, given an entire wardrobe that consists mostly of garments in the colour red. Christmas runs the danger this year of being politically incorrect.
As all eyes turn to the East, China is posing the greatest amount of promise and perplexity. Could they, would they, will they come and buy resort real estate?
Recent news from friends in Laguna Phuket who have carefully been dipping their toes into the Olympic-sized swimming pool saw six off-plan sales from a Shanghai exhibition. This would indicate those who are investing in developing markets are starting to see ripples of returns.
Yes the broad tourism market for the moment has a storyline wound tight on package tourists bussed into mid-market hotels. But developers are starting to see traction in off-plan sales again versus value hunters clogging the check-out lines in the surging secondary sector.
Is this a return to recovery or the good old days you may wonder?
Frankly speaking anyone who has an inkling about rewinding the joys of the past needs to visit the ghost of Christmas present in Ireland, Greece or the rust belt in America.
Welcome to the mind of the island's properly matrix, where questions out-number answers and the one-eyed jack could take the pot.
Reports in from luxury hotels and private villa rental operations are seeing a second rush of upper-end Eastern Europeans poised to come during the peak period of late-December to February. Dispelling chartermania, new regular direct flights from Aeroflot start in December, offering posh first and business-class seats, which compete in the parallel universe of cut-rate tours, and offer up potential buyers of villas and condominiums. No wise men or wise people on camels depending on your inclination could cope with Phuket's traffic on camelback this Christmas.
East for the moment may be recalled as East of what? Certainty Russia, India and some of those countries that are very hard to pronounce are figuring into the mix. So even West and North could he the new East. Ouch: All these directions are giving me a headache without the pleasures of knocking back shots of Maker's Mark bourbon.
No Toto, things are not going to be the same as before in Wonderland. It's like second and third wives, a somewhat fuzzy version of different.
I'm not sure how many property players have been naughty or nice this year, and Santa's list was put into the paper shredder by accident. For now at least the pendulum of the moment has slowly swung forward at a painstakingly deliberate pace.

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