“Phuket as a Destination for Family Tourism” with President of the Phuket Tourist Association
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“Phuket as a Destination for Family Tourism” with President of the Phuket Tourist Association

The Phuket Tourist Association has been established for over 30 years. The Association now has more than 200 companies as members. Khun Sathirapong Na Takuatoong is currently President for his second term. Before he terminates his period in office, Phuketindex was honoured to spend time interviewing him about Phuket as a destination for family tourism and the role of the Phuket Tourist Association.

What is the Phuket Tourist Association’s most important role?
“Since we were first established, it’s been our aim to make Phuket known on the worldwide market. Therefore, international marketing has become our strength and we’re specialized in this area. It’s our job to promote Phuket to tourists at the international level. We go out to attract and persuade people to visit Phuket. We’re currently working together with the TAT (Tourist Authority of Thailand) to organize road shows in many places. We went to Australia and China last year and we’re going to go to Russia. We also attend international trade shows like ITB Asia in Singapore and ITB Berlin in Germany every year with support from PPAO (Or Bor Jor) to expand our market.

The Family Tourism Market
“Families are a fundamental market for the tourism industry. The growing market for family tourism in Phuket includes the Chinese. In the past Chinese tourists travelled to Thailand mostly with tour agencies but in recent years, we’ve seen a lot more free individual travelers (known as FITs) from China. The Scandinavian market is still coming to Phuket and we have an enormous yet growing number of tourists. Phuket is changing quite dramatically in terms of the number of visitors and this makes important factors in the family tourism sphere change too. But Phuket still offers an international airport which makes it easy for this market to shift away from spending in Phuket to Khao Lak, Krabi or even Lanta Island. More than that, we have a growing market from the Middle East, Russia and CIS countries such as Kazakhstan.

What does Phuket offer to families?
“If you’re asking why families are interested in Phuket and what do we offer and what you think about first when you want to travel it should be accommodation and Phuket happens to have many hotels and resorts which comply with the demands of this market. We provide plenty of services such as Kids’ Clubs, family oriented design concepts and nanny services – and a whole lot more. These facilities and services influence families in their decision to choose Phuket as a destination. We also offer a lot of attractions for everyone in the family such as Phuket Fantasea, Siam Niramit, the Trickeye Museum, Water Park, Go-Karting and sea excursions. Not to mention, Thanyapura, golf clubs, ATV, rafting, scuba diving, zipline, mountain biking or other sporting events such as the annual Laguna Marathon; these activities can be prime choices for children and teenagers.

Growing to be leading destination for family tourism
“To be the leader in family tourism, I think we should place our priority on safety and security. Phuket puts a focus on, and has certain measures on, safety in some levels but we still need to improve. For example road accidents are one of the areas of concern and a lot of tourists have had bad experiences in this. We need to decrease these incidents and make our roads safer. Another thing is the public transportation system. We need to support this for tourists, increase their mobility till they are able to easily travel from one place to another on their own. That will make Phuket closer to being a leading worldwide destination. Also, our airport doesn’t reflect well, what with the growing numbers of visitors. However, we hope after the renovation of the domestic terminal is fully complete this problem will be eased. Families are likely to look for a peaceful and quiet area to stay. Phuket fortunately still has many options; areas such as in the north of Phuket; Maikhao, Bangtao or on the east coast are ideal for this.

Suggestions for those who want to spend time with their family in Phuket
“You might plan to visit Phuket when the children have school holidays which normally will be during the end of high season and the beginning of the rainy season. The sun may be strong and you also have rainy periods but visit Phuket during the ‘green season’ and you’ll benefit from the lower cost of accommodation. You have to ask yourself what kind of experience you expect from Phuket and what you want for everyone in the family: Phuket has many things to offer for everyone!”

Family travel in Phuket is rich in choices for you and your little ones. Let’s hear some suggestions from experts who work at well-known hotels in Phuket…

JIDANAN LAKUPABKAWIN – Marketing Manager, Cassia Phuket

Enjoy the Phuket graffiti hunt with a cool Cassia map! At Cassia, we provide a detailed map that highlights some of the best graffiti artworks across the island.

Family activities at Cassia Phuket

Cassia Phuket, new stylish hotel residences by Banyan Tree, offers 309 uber-chic suites, each with separate bedrooms, living room, full equipped kitchen, loft hang out area with panoramic views of the lagoon, ocean, or park. Cassia offers two swimming pools, a private area on Bangtao Beach, super cool kids’ play areas and Chill Chill Spa. One of the best options for all family members to live, laugh and love.

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PENPRAPA CHOOKLIN – Associate Director, Marketing Communications ,Amari Phuket

Recommended activities for families traveling in Phuket

There are so many activities and places for visitors to explore but the most popular activity is an island tour. Still, I’d recommend something different to add to your Phuket bucket list. First, I’d suggest a visit to the Phuket elephant sanctuary in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. Here your family will see a new home for work-weary elephants; you can feed them pineapples and bananas and take photos of them as they enjoy their freedom while bathing in the lagoon. Then, you can move on to Phuket’s Old Town to take selfies against a backdrop of the colourful and impressive street art painted on the downtown walls. The last activity I’d suggest is a visit to the Sunday walking street or ‘Lard Yai’ Market, where you can enjoy the local food at the many food stalls, shop for handmade souvenirs and, to complete your evening with a memorable experience, watch the various street performances by bands and dance troupes.

Family activities at Amari Phuket

At Amari Phuket, we provide many activities for families but one that shouldn’t be missed is snorkeling. Just a few minutes from your room, you can walk through the lush and green tropical forest to the jetty. The jetty is a prime panoramic spot where you can enjoy unique views of the many surrounding beaches, and it’s where you can grab a snorkel and mask to explore the colourful marine life at the end of the pier. Your family is sure to have a fun time at the jetty!

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SASIWAN WARNDEE – Sales Manager, Deevana Patong Resort & Spa

Recommended activities for families traveling in Phuket

I’d like to recommend a trip to Phuket’s culture learning centres such as Thalang Road, Baan Kanaan. There are many choices of activities such as batik making, a visit to a fish farm, milking/feeding farm goats, making magnets and dolls from rubber or tasting seasonal fruits such as Phuket’s famous pineapples, mangosteens and durians at a fruit farm.

Family activities at Deevana Patong Resort & Spa

I’d like to suggest our interesting Cooking Class. You’ll not only learn how to cook Thai food but we also show you where to find and how to use the Thai ingredients. And we also have Thai vegetable carving classes for children above 12.

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SAOMSARAN THAYANSIL – Restaurant Manager, Sri panwa

Recommended activities for families traveling in Phuket

I recommend a trip to the aquarium near our hotel. The Phuket Aquarium is well maintained and they have a great variety of all types of fish found in this area. There are also very informative descriptions in both Thai and English. So I think this is an educational and fun outing that could inspire people to help protect the environment.

Family activities at Sri panwa

At Sri panwa, we have lots of activities such as Thai cooking classes for the whole family to experience held in the sunset lounge with its beautiful views. Our games room is a popular spot to spend time with your family, with foosball, table tennis and more. We also provide batik art and porcelain painting classes for children.

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KLUAYMAI TANTHAWISUT, Marketing Communications Manager, Impiana Hotels-Thailand

Recommended activities for families traveling in Phuket

Children who love adventure shouldn’t miss a chance to visit the Hanuman World Phuket-Eco Adventure Park where they can enjoy the exciting treetop zip lines, abseiling, skywalking, and much more – all complemented by spectacular panoramic views of Phuket Town, Phi Phi Island, and the Andaman Sea.

Family activities at Impiana Resort Patong

We have many kids’ facilities, a swimming pool, a kids’ breakfast corner and lots of family activities, but most of all direct access to Patong Beach! We’re a full-on beachfront resort, allowing kids to enjoy swimming and playing on the beach all day long, while parents relax and rejuvenate in the sun. It’s a perfect Sun-Sea-and-Sand combination. Looking for a beach holiday for your family? Impiana Resort Patong is the perfect getaway…

 

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