BY MARK SIMMONS – Phuket Hotel Association members: When Phuket speaks to the world, we all speak together.
Successful destination branding and promotion is essential for each of our resorts, wherever we operate. In line with this, the Phuket Hotel Association (PHA) has been formed and has attracted 50 leading global, regional and locally branded hotels and resorts totaling nearly 9,000 rooms across the island so far.
The association’s goals are in line with Outrigger’s culture and good for Phuket as a destination and good for its hotel sector. I have been asked to take on the role of marketing consultant for the PHA on a voluntary basis, sitting on the advisory committee for the benefit of destination Phuket. The official launch of PHA is Jan. 23, 2017, at the Thailand Tourism forum.
PHA has four core areas that we are seeking to influence: destination marketing, environmental best practice, the creation of educational scholarships for hospitality, and enhanced liaison with government authorities.
On marketing, for example, the PHA website is due to launch early in 2017 with experiential and cultural images and videos under the tagline, “One Island, Endless Discoveries.” We are working with branding and PR agencies in Thailand to boost the PHA profile and ensure that when Phuket speaks to the world, we all speak together.
On the environment, we aim to help hotels do business in a sustainable manner with minimal impact on nature, while saving costs at the same time. So our first green projects include sharing information about suppliers who can help us be green at competitive prices. We will also establish an environmental best practice list that members can use in their own properties. A dedicated ‘Clean up Phuket Day’ run by member hotels involving the local community is also planned.
Further, the PHA also aims to hold a gala charity event on 13 May, 2017 with the objective of raising 3.5 million baht ($100,000) for the educational and scholarship fund.
PHA members put these objectives into shape at a very productive year-end member meeting Dec. 1 in Phuket. We agreed that our 2017 objectives will include membership expansion to 100 hotels and resorts, the roll out of Phuket destination branding, the launch of the scholarships, and the creation of PHA member benefits such as food and beverage discounts when visiting fellow member properties.