Phuket Hotels Join To Promote Hospitality Education
PHAB gala event raises over 4 million Thai baht to fund human capital on Phuket through tourism training and scholarships. Phuket hotel industry’s glittering evening of marvelous world class music, fabulous food and focused community fundraising is hailed a resounding success by organizers, sponsors and guests
On Saturday 13 May, more than 300 members, sponsors and friends of the Phuket Hotels Association, a non-profit organization of hoteliers focused on promoting the positive side of Phuket, gathered at a benefit event to raise money for 20 tourism scholarships and traineeships that will be awarded to local island residents.
A Magical Island Event was held at Latitude Marquee inside the Laguna Phuket resort complex and more than lived up to its name with a dazzling evening of wining, dining, and world-class entertainment.
The star attraction was X Factor UK singing sensation Marcus Collins, who flew in specially from London to perform, followed by a captivating set from Mark Zitti E I Fratelli Coltelli and his six-piece Italian swing band who flew in from Italy. Phuket favorite DJ Benjamin Jenkins later took over to keep the dance floor pumping.
Guests made donations to the scholarship fun by purchasing tickets for the charity event, which also featured a live and silent auction with an impressive line-up of prizes that included everything from luxury hotel stays in Bangkok, Hollywood, London, Sydney, Maldives to gourmet dining experiences and a week-long cruise aboard a 77ft private yacht.
Khun Norraphat Plodthong, the newly appointed Governor of Phuket, gave an opening speech in which he commended the Phuket Hotels Association and its members for recognizing and supporting local people to ensure their active participation in the island’s tourism industry.
He also expressed hope that Phuket Hotels Association would actively engage in preserving the island’s natural beauty, particularly with regard to reducing the amount of plastic used and discarded by visitors, and by training their staff to be more conscious of the negative long-term impact of pollution on their lives and livelihoods.
A number of respected Thai educational institutions are participating in he PHA scholarship program, including Prince of Songkla University (Phuket Campus), Phuket Rajabhat University, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Phuket Campus, and Ramkhamhang University (Phuket Campus).
Candidates will be chosen based on their skills and commitment and awarded a range of opportunities that includes 2, 3 and 4 year vocational, diploma courses, bachelor and master degree programs, as well as overseas training.
Bill Barnett, Managing Director of award-winning hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks and one of the founders of the PHA, added, “We have been building this association for 6 years so it’s gratifying to see so many Phuket hoteliers join forces to support the island community. Human capital is our biggest asset, but also our biggest challenge in the hospitality business. By guiding and training the hotel staff of the future we are helping create a legacy of success for Phuket.”
Anthony Lark, President of the Phuket Hotels Association added, “It’s crucial that we all work together to build and maintain a positive image for this beautiful island while protecting it natural assets at the same time. This event is a great start because it demonstrates how much we can achieve when we work towards a common goal.
So many volunteers, sponsors and supporters helped create this amazing fundraising effort. It’s very encouraging to work with such a wide range of organizations and individuals, to support the local community and show the world that Phuket is a top class socially conscious destination”.
The Phuket Hotels Association has 55 member hotels and 30 of them showcased their exceptional food and beverage offerings during A Magical Island Event. Next year’s event – PHAB 2 – is already being planned and promises to offer an even more spectacular display of top drawer hospitality and entertainment.
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