Not a Bad Spot for Hoteliers to Call Home
The Phuket Gazette.
While The Clash once sang about “London calling to the farÂaway towns", many travel-weary international hoteliers are hearing increasing numbers calling Phuket home.
Looking in my travel diary – an old passport filled to the brim with visa stamps and so many additional pages that the document starts to resemble an overgrown club sandwich – I realize many other island residents have walked the same well-worn path.
A hotel manager's life, when working abroad, all too often starts resembling a chaotic version of The Amazing Race: Skipping from post to post, with anxious wives and family always keen to see where they'll be posted to next. For those in the hospitality industry, Asia has been the place to be for the last ten or twenty years due to growth, opportunity and the ability to keep moving up the food chain.
If you are willing to relocate at the drop of a hat, all you need to do is sign on the dotted line and off you go.
Unlike working in their home countries, expatriate packages are often treasure troves of perks: tax-free salaries paid in western currency long holiday leave and plane tickets home, housing and cars.
As time has passed, an entire generation, or two, of Asian-based expat hotel managers have grown more at home in faraway places than where they grew up.
Many have married in places they worked and established roots with family and friends connecting the dots across the regions.
For most managers, the tough decision of going home, or staying on, arrives when it comes to a time they want to slowdown or retire; play golf, sail or live the life they know so well. Taking a moment the other day, I started to count fellow hoteliers who live here in Phuket.
Some winding-down careers, others taking a break, and even a few waiting and watching for their next posting.
I quickly ran out of fingers, toes, and keys on my computer. And there are others too. Those who work in corporate jobs for hotel chains who move the family to Phuket for schooling or to enjoy a relaxing lifestyle, but who work out of Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. It happens more than you think.
Escaping gridlock traffic in Bangkok, or over-population in Hong Kong, many hotel managers enjoy being based in Phuket. Having a nice garden, being close to the sea and the lifestyle here, appeals to many.
For so many expat managers who have worked in Bali, the Philippines, Malaysia or some of the many gateway cities of Asia. Phuket was where they found what they wanted, a life that offered the best of both their worlds: career growth and a great lifestyle.