TO DISCUSS YOUR PROJECT OR LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SERVICES:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Waging The War Of Political Tourism

Category: Tourism, Posted:11 Jun 2013 | 09:46 am

The political overtones of the past few weeks over the Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Center in Mai Khao between the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties has continued to elevate the deep divide between north and south.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi's comments in the media about leveraging political support in exchange for the on again, off again mega complex at least bring the compelling issues at hand out into the open.
Despite the blame game misdirect playing out about the Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) causing the cancellation of the Convention Center which had been approved by the prior Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, clearly the sea turtles are not the root cause. Welcome to Turtlegate.
When I take a step back and look at the interaction between Phuket and how it's tourism brand is managed by the country the best comparison I can look at Asia's other iconic destination island Bali. Indonesia has embraced ASEAN and it's ramp up to the APEC 2013 event later this year has been an all out effort.
The airport expansion, toll road, underpass and other key infrastructure will be completed in time for the showcase event and the government is heavily invested in the destination. Indonesia understands the global brand significance of both the country and its tourism leader Bali.
Sadly Phuket does not warrant similar respect from Bangkok. It's considered to be somewhere "up country" or down south, a provincial backwater. Despite the country promoting Amazing Thailand, and racking up impressive year on year visitor numbers, there is little recognition that the beast must be fed, investment by means of a national agenda must be made and Phuket embraced instead of being shunned.
Frankly speaking there is no immediate political solution and the only remedy remains taking the political agenda off the table for Phuket tourism. Both Bangkok and Pattaya are specially designated administrative areas which benefit from a dedicated government management approach. Certainly Phuket deserves a similar designation given the island's importance on the global tourism map.
What is clear is that for the moment is that Phuket tourism industry is a pawn for political gain. There is little doubt in my mind the island deserves more than it's getting.

Other News

Read more

All Zoomed Out. How Collaboration Has Become the Kill Switch of Hotel Creativity

Category: Opinion, Posted:03 Aug 2020 | 09:20 am There is no mistaking the sound of a flushing toilet. It’s not a sudden rainstorm, or the whoosh of a juiced up, flash mob of joggers on steroids passing by on the street. Arguably, it’s a dirty little low-pitched thunder from down under that somehow triggers the gag reflex. Remember Trainspotting?  Welcome to the world […]
Read more

Are Hong Kong’s Global Luxury Hotel Brands Headed for an Identity Crisis?

Category: Opinion|Hotels, Posted:02 Aug 2020 | 08:50 am Hong Kong’s position as one of the leading worldwide host cities for luxury hotel brands has long been an envious one. The line-up that includes Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula, Shangri-La, Rosewood and Langham is rapidly finding that the unique sense of corporate place has become a perilous balancing act. Mind you, I sit on no political […]
Read more

Condo Hotels Hit Bangkok Property Market

Category: Hotels, Posted:01 Aug 2020 | 15:10 pm Bangkok’s real estate scene is about to see a new wave of condo hotel developments that have already been seen across Southeast Asia’s resort markets over the past decade. The Wyndham hospitality chain and brands are being used as a vehicle for Thai group Siamese Asset under a license and franchise offering, with white label […]