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The Destination Group has acquired a partially completed beachfront 400-key hotel in Khao Lak, Phang Nga.

What was named the Mora Resort which is under construction will see Destination fully complete and brand the property.

An opening in late 2023 is planned for the hotel which is located near the JW Marriott.

Access to Khao Lak from Phuket International Airport has been greatly aided by the completion of a new four-lane highway.

Uber global social brand Soho House will debut in Bangkok this December 2022.

Located in the former Eugenia hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 31, the property has been reinvented.

With three floors of facilities, food, beverage, and cultural events are also set to be showcased.

Soho  House Bangkok membership is set at THB135,000 per year, with access to all global outlets or THB78,000 for Bangkok access only.

Under 27 years of age, membership is discounted. For more details CLICK

 

 

Boutique hotel group Noku has opened its fourth property, with Phuket as its latest destination.

The Noku Phuket features 91 villas and lofts, overlooking Chalong Bay.

Its sustainable design has earned it a Green Mark Gold Award.

The group also operates properties in Maldives, Kyoto, and Osaka.

Noku Hotels was founded by  Chris Teo of Singapore’s Roxy Pacific Holdings.

 

Global brand Radisson has returned to Phuket with a 179-key property in Kamala, owned by the Destination Group.

The Radisson Resort and Suites Phuket is a conversion of the former Swissotel, which had been managed by ACCOR.

It is an all-suite property with one, two and three bedroom units.

Nearby the hotel, the large-scale tourism attraction Phuket FantaSea is opening its new theme park Carnival Magic on 20th September 2022.

Sitting on a land area of 100 rai, the total investment cost of the two attractions is reportedly THB6.6 billion.

Two other upcoming international branded hotels in the Kamala pipeline are an MGallery by ACCOR and Movenpick.

Since the easing of travel restrictions in Thailand, pent-up demand has continued to push travelers to Phuket.  The first half of 2022 created positive market sentiment, as the Island welcomed 1.78 million visitors, a 342% increase over the same period last year.

European source markets delivered higher volumes in the first quarter, while Asian source markets gained traction in international visitation in the second quarter. As regional countries in Asia reopened borders to overseas travel, Phuket has seen an influx of family-oriented travelers.

With an increase in international travelers, Phuket’s hotel sector performance is starting to see a recovery trend in occupancy. As a result of more airlift, the Island registered an overall occupancy rate of 31.5% in H1 2022, up from 5.1% in the first half of 2021.

The upswing in demand was highest on the Island’s west coast as the preferred choice of travelers.  Looking forward, a seasonal transition will see international scheduled and charter flight winter schedules come into effect at the end of October and continue through March 2023.

C9 is forecasting an optimistic outlook that Phuket tourism will continue recovering, albeit at a moderate pace moving into 2023. Factors driving this view are the continued zero-COVID policy in Mainland China, and limited airline seats for Russian snowbird travelers this winter season.

To download C9 Hotelworks Phuket Hotel Market Outlook 2022 CLICK

 

Russian travelers have ritually sought out islands in the tropical sun since the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Hellbent on escaping bitterly cold winters, these snowbirds in the lead-up years to the pandemic became the second largest international source market for Phuket’s mass market tourism surge.

Now, coming out of the pandemic in the age of a return to travel, the Russian-Ukrainian crisis has made tourists and airlines from Russia unwelcome in many parts of the world. Connecting Russia to Phuket has become an increasingly difficult proposition with most travelers transiting the Middle East on Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad or via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines.

Thai Airways International has not been flying to Moscow for quite some time and Singapore Airlines discontinued service earlier in the year. Aeroflot announced the resumption of daily direct flights between Moscow and Phuket on 30th October 2022, though at last check was still awaiting final government clearance.

As the resort island waits and wonders about the upcoming high season, with its formerly ‘go to’ Mainland Chinese market unable to travel internationally, there is still a sense of uncertainty in the air. I often coin the term ‘you can’t stay there if you can’t get there’, and that is exactly the conundrum Russian travelers face this winter.

Some of the evolving alternative gateways to Phuket this coming winter season confound the common logic that the shortest distance between two points is a direct line. The former Soviet country of Kazakhstan has grown into a popular Central Asian hub with direct flights to Phuket on Air Astana and possible winter charters on SCAT and Sunday Airlines’.

Turkey remains in the picture where Mavi Gok Aviation who is part of the Anex Tour group is looking to create a hub in Antalya and fly to popular holiday destinations in Thailand, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. Turkish package tour operators  continue to be a force to be reckoned with in mass tourism markets.

One of the more obscure upcoming options is via Laos where Ural Airlines has made public plans to fly from Vladivostok Siberia to Vientiane. From there Thai AirAsia connects to the locations in Thailand via Bangkok.

In a continuing storyline, a number of Russian airline carriers are on the EU’s air safety list and unable to operate within the European Union due to international safety concerns as a result of a ban on spare parts and equipment. This situation is exasperated given the United States sanctions on Russia that impact Boeing aircraft, which are used by many Russian carriers. So it could best be summed up that Southeast Asia is positioned as a ‘safe haven’ for Russian overseas holidaymakers.

Speaking to Olga Kurmakaeva who is Deputy Managing Director of tour operator Exotic Voyage in Phuket, she weighs in on the situation with “there are two main challenges for Russian travelers. The first is the cost of airfares which pre-COVID were between USD700-900 and now with few seats available has surged as high as four to five times that amount.

On the flip side, demand is strong and those who can afford higher airfares are snapping up tickets through any available route. The main impact on hotel bookings is the average length of stay which used to be nine to ten days, but is now being pushed up to fifteen as travelers rationalize the trip cost and look to stay longer.”

In the final analysis, there is no doubt that Russians will continue to be a top high-season source market for Phuket. But, the reality for island hotels and tourism businesses is that the volume will be severely impacted by considerably less airlift.  Realistically, until that situation improves, this looks to be a winter of discontent for many Russian snowbirds who are unable to get airline seats and won’t find their place under the sun, not at least this season.

Korean Air is returning direct service to Phuket from Seoul in October according to news reports.

Flights will operate four days a week, using a Boeing 737-800.

The carrier is also scheduling flights to Chiang Mai from Korea as well.

In the past, the Korean connection was popular for access to Phuket for not only travelers from Korea, but Japan and further afield, North America.

Southeast Asia’s largest sustainable hotel, tourism, and travel icon PHIST returns to Phuket for a high-energy, ‘in person’ event on Monday 26th September 2022. Combining a comprehensive set of workshops, best-in-class green product and services expo, ESG-focused activities and culminating in a main stage series of candid, educational, and inspiring leadership talks.

Now in its fifth year, the upcoming PHIST 5 is assembling expert resources on forward-looking and practical applications ranging from ESG, circular economy, GSTC certification, renewable energy, EV transport, green financing for hotels, sustainable tech start-ups, cannabis tourism, repurposing hospitality design, environmental education, net-zero, and the definitive list of sustainability basics that any hotel in the world should follow to get started.

Co-organized by the Phuket Hotels Association, Greenview and C9 Hotelworks, the event will take place at the integrated Angsana Laguna Phuket resort and offer a combination of engaging indoor and outdoor sessions. Special prequel activities will be held on the weekend leading up to PHIST 5 and attendees will be able to participate in community-based CSR activities.

The global pandemic has created the most significant once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for tourism to rethink, reimagine and act for a sustainable future. PHIST 5 is a catalyst for key stakeholders across Thailand and Southeast Asia to gather together and frame ideas, create conversations, and ignite inspiration to play it forward for the generations to come.

The Green Groove exhibit hall of over 30 vetted and proven sustainability solutions will kick off in the morning, alongside four Masterclasses in two tracks. There will also be innovation sessions in the afternoon.

REGISTER NOW: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/phuket-hotels-for-islands-sustaining-tourism-phist-5-tickets-300536220927

Complete the registration on Eventbrite (please be aware that the ticket will be automatically generated by the system after you register)

 

 

Budget season is coming, and a BIG influencing factor for achieving and exceeding forecasts in 2023 will be digital & tech competency. So, to assist your thought process in tackling 2023 planning Phuket Hotels Association (PHA) and HSMAI Asia Pacific have partnered to purposely craft a special ½ Day Digital Marketing Conference, specifically for Hotels & Resorts.

This is a ‘commercial event’ including marketing/ sales/ revenue disciplines and will be a sure way of quickly updating yourself on the latest methodologies for profitability-focused digital and revenue optimizations. It is a unique opportunity to be in the same room as hotel & industry leaders in digital marketing/ advertising, sales, commercial, and revenue management, in Phuket, where you will swiftly learn from their expert knowledge and best practice outlook for 2023, plus get ‘in the know’ with foresight on future trends.

Then of course, join all delegates for engaging discussion, experience sharing, and some fun at the relaxed post-event networking session.

Fee: Free for PHA & HSMAI Members, from 500 Baht for non-Members

Date/ Time: 13 September 2022, Conference 2-5PM / Networking 5-6:30PM

Venue: Banyan Tree Phuket

More Information: https://hsmaiasia.org/digital-sales-forum-phuket

 

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