Why did PPAO decided to join ITB Asia?
ITB Asia is an annual tradeshow and convention where the full spectrum of Asia Pacific’s tourism industry, including the hospitality sector, aviation companies, tour operators or travel agencies, National Tourism Organizations, travel technology firms, MICE and corporate travel representatives are able to showcase their products to international buyers from the industry. It is now seen as the world’s leading travel event where attendees get an opportunity to meet directly with the peers and share the innovative ideas related to travel destinations to bring growth in the travel industry.
Phuket is seen as world-class tourist destination still with growth potential, therefore, PPAO together with Phuket Tourist Association and TAT Phuket join the ITB Asia event to promote the island’s full range of travel products and services. We also use the event to boost Phuket’s economy via sales. We’re really looking forward to this year’s show as we will be showcasing a number of new initiatives.
How successful is the event for Phuket?
Phuket has seen very positive results since taking part in ITB Asia. International visitors to the show adore Phuket people’s smiley and friendly nature, and this is something we use as one of our main selling points. However, to further expand our market we have asked for more input from local government offices, travel operators and local media. In addition, we also need to look for new markets which are able to provide more options for the low and monsoon seasons.
Our main focus is now on the Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern markets as they are booming and becoming more integrated with the global tourism industry. These regions now show a very strong presence at ITB Asia.
As a result of ITB Asia we’ve seen increases in direct international flights coming to Phuket International Airport, growth in foreign tourist arrivals and in foreigners investing in hotel businesses and property.
What is the key to bringing attention to Phuket?
Now I believe the key is promoting Phuket as a green environment, the local government now has a better and closer working relationship with local business and the community to bring better recycling facilities and garbage management, and they collectively organise regular beach clean-up campaigns. This is an issue which we cannot ignore because the growth in Phuket’s tourism has been very quick. In 2013 we predict 10 million tourists will visit Phuket, and it is essential all sectors take care of our environment. It is also necessary to keep a close eye on the island’s accommodation development.
Although mostly recognized as a tropical paradise, Phuket is also a great destination for adventure seekers and eco-tourists. Inland Phuket offers plenty of opportunities for treks and eco-activities. There are key places of natural beauty on the island for people interested in this type of experience.
Should tourists be confident about visiting Phuket?
We deliver the best travel experience and Phuket provides great security for its tourist. We have the best CCTV system in Southern Thailand which covers all the island’s main areas. PPAO provides professional lifeguards on the beaches, and we have international standard hospitals to take care of tourists in emergency situations.
We have a clear strategy for disaster prevention in events such as a tsunami, earthquake or other natural disasters, these are continuously updated and regular practice exercises are held. Our white sandy beaches are always beautiful; we have a great choice of high quality local and international restaurants, world class shopping options, and plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. Phuket also has its own unique culture which also includes providing great hospitality.
Furthermore, we are now developing the island’s infrastructure to accommodate the millions of visitors who visit every year, this includes expansion of Phuket International Airport, building new roads and underpasses at the most congested traffic areas. We are also able to provide sufficient electrical and water supplies. So yes tourists should be 100% confident when visiting Phuket.
We look forward to welcoming all visitors to our island.