BY MARK SIMMONS – Outrigger is playing an important role as founding members of the Phuket Hotels Association (PHA). On behalf of Outrigger, Marc Landgraf, Tony Pedroni and I attended the inaugural meeting on May 18. The association is starting with 32 hotel members with many global and key local brands on board who employ thousands of staff in the community.
The objectives of the new association are threefold: to promote environmental initiatives such as recycling and water conservation; to liaise with local government on hotel related matters, including scholarships for local students, and green issues; and to present the positive face of “Brand Phuket” through marketing and PR and the association’s upcoming website platform.
Outrigger will take a lead role on marketing and branding for the association (along with Anthony Lark of Trisara Resort who has been appointed Executive Director) while Marc will help with financial oversight and budget review issues for the association.
A key goal of the PHA will be to liaise with the Thai Hotel Association and the Phuket Tourist Association.
The website will not be commercial, but will be visual, rich in content focusing on the natural environment, character, culture, people, Phuket’s amazing food, the architecture of the old town, and unique experiences that include major sporting events.
We are delighted that the venerable ‘Father of Phuket Tourism’, Khun Wichit Na Ranong will be a founding advisor to the association. Leading Asian based hospitality group Managing Director Bill Barnett will underpin our work by supplying key market statistics, information and trends to inform our initiatives to members. Hotel performance analysts STR are also committed to the association.
The PHA plans to meet every two months and the marketing committee monthly.
There is genuine enthusiasm among founding members. We have a focused and constructive agenda. We will work together to achieve many positive outcomes for the greater hotel sector, the tourism industry and the Phuket community.