Mr.Bhummikitti Ruktaengam – The President of Phuket Tourism Association
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Mr.Bhummikitti Ruktaengam – The President of Phuket Tourism Association

Talk about Phuket Mascot Project
“NONGJOONG”, a naughty, food-loving lobster boy who is willing to explore and learn new things – tasty food, fun activities, and beautiful scenery. Proud to present his experiences of Phuket to his friends around the world. “NONGJOONG” was born from the idea of Mr. Phoomkit Raktae-ngam, the President of Phuket Tourism Association, on how to improve the tourism industry in Phuket.

The origin and purpose of the Phuket Mascot Project
Due to the change of tourists’ behavior, we now have Gen C instead of Baby Boomer, Gen Y or even Millennium, which makes the tourism industry even more complicated – the “Sun Sea Sand” might not attract enough. Therefore, the Phuket Tourism Association has an idea of ​​creating the new content to reach all people of any age or gender – the mascot is the answer. Since we needed various ideas from all over Thailand, we then established the Phuket Mascot Project and got a lot of feedback from the designers with 230 design works joining the contest. After the long elaborate process, we finally got the winner named “NONGJOONG”.

Mr.Bhummikitti Ruktaengam - The President of Phuket Tourism Association
“NONGJOONG”

The meaning of the Mascot
During the contest, we let the designers explain their ideas and the stories of each work, finally the selected one is the “Lobster”. In term of names, it connects to “Phuket Lobster” which is compatible with Phuket. This lobster was named by the designer as “NONGJOONG” since his close friend, a black sea urchin, cannot pronounce his name correctly, so instead of “NONGKUNG” he says “NONGJOONG”. After that, we named the urchin as “CHAOKUAY” but the main character still be “NONGJOONG”.

Mr.Bhummikitti Ruktaengam - The President of Phuket Tourism Association

Why “NONGJOONG” win the contest?
First of all, let me tell you about the process of contest. From more than 200 pieces of work, we used the local judges for the first round and we got pearl, pineapples, lobster or even Hokkien Noodle. Then for the final round, the professional designers had to consider this into 2-3 topics. First is about the scale, we have to understand that the drawing and the actual figure would be different. In the drawing, it might look good, look cute, but when we actually create it, the scale must shrink or stretch out, so it might not be as cute as a drawing. Therefore, the experienced designers had to decide if it would be flexible enough or not. Second is the suitability of being a mascot. For example, Japan has a lot of black bears, so the bear can be a mascot to present that area. In the same way, we have to think about what can remind tourists of Phuket? And the last one is how to design the gestures, because when we transform a mascot into a souvenir, it has to be in many postures and characters. So it was a long process until we finally got “NONGJOONG”.

Mr.Bhummikitti Ruktaengam - The President of Phuket Tourism Association

What’s next for “NONGJOONG”?
The mascot would be represented in 2 dimensions, first is with someone inside and movable – to walk in the parade and join with tourists or even attend the events, inbound and outbound. Second, we plan to make this mascot in various characters i.e., sunbathing, surfing or running, then display in tourist attraction spots. The next step is to develop into a souvenir format such as umbrellas, T-Shirts and postcards. So if anyone has some interesting ideas and wish to use “NONGJOONG”, you can contact the association for the permission but the most important thing is you cannot change the scale of the mascot. And you will see “NOONGJOONG” in the Patong Carnival this year definitely.

Mr.Bhummikitti Ruktaengam - The President of Phuket Tourism Association

CONCEPT
NONGJOONG is a 3 year old lobster boy, born in the middle of the Andaman Sea. A naughty, food-loving boy who is willing to explore and learn new things – tasty food, fun activities, and beautiful scenery. He plans to visit every corner of Phuket and is proud to present his experiences to friends around the world. He follows the sea urchin, his close friend with unclear accent, we called him “NONGJOONG”.

“NONGJOONG”, Phuket’s mascot, designed from the idea of Phuket Tourism Association on how to improve the tourism industry in Phuket. Since the population living in Phuket is quite diverse, the Gypsies, Chinese, Malaya, Thai and foreigners – hence, the mascot could not be very specific. The “Lobster” is the most common thing which has been promoted for Phuket for a long while. Due to the unique character, good image, easy to remember and it has never been yet used as the mascot anywhere in the world. Also using the new generation boy who is willing to learn, is eager for new experiences, and has a good relationship with his surroundings. So we created a cute lobster boy, adorable and colorful named “NONGJOONG”.

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BHATARA AMORNRATTANAKIJ
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS,
JW MARRIOTT PHUKET RESORT & SPA

“Phuket” what do you think of it?

Pristine beaches, gorgeous Andaman Sea. Those are also the main reasons that I decided to relocate from the life in the city of Bangkok to live and work on Phuket Island.

What element of Phuket does the hotel take or adapt to the hotel, and in what way?
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is a place that opens guests up to its destination. We create an authentic sense of place, allowing our guests to immerse themselves and be enriched by culturally genuine experience. As we would like our guests to leave richer than when they arrived. We have been promoting and offering a lot of activities for our hotel guests. Hosting the numerous activities and events that are related to our local Phuket’s history, cuisine, festival, culture and community.

The resort is located on Mai Khao Beach and adjacent to the Sirinat Marine National Park where there is a protected marine turtle nesting area. We have an on-site Mai Khao Marine Turtle Shelter and Education Center where our dedicated team educates about marine ecosystems not only for hotel guests, but it’s also open to the public. The shelter also is a home to 4 injured and disabled marine turtles at the moment. Every year, we also host 2 major events with regard to the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation and invite people to participate on the annual events.

For the culinary journey, Our Thai chef @ Ginja Taste restaurant proudly presents the ‘Ancient Wild’ signature set menu whose dishes reflect the local cuisine. The exceptional dishes are inspired by the home grown herbs, spices and local products.

Resort activity programs, our recreation team also provides the daily arts & crafts activity program to our hotel guests such as Batik painting, Thai cooking class, bike tour to Phu Jae San Lake and Mai Khao area, etc.

Team building combines with Corporate Social Responsibilities initiative programs. The corporate groups will have a chance to travel by Song Taew / Po Tong (Phuket’s signature blue wooden bus) to Mai Khao Gypsy Village and learn the way of island life through the activities, to build the fishermen some wooden squid traps, make bracelets with local people, etc.

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PANCHAN NOIMEECHAROEN
ASST.DIRECTOR OF MARCOM AND PR
PHUKET MARRIOTT RESORT AND SPA, NAI YANG BEACH

“Phuket” what do you think of it?
Beautiful beaches and authentic culture! Phuket is Thailand’s most popular resort destination and it is synonymous with golden sands and turquoise seas. Whenever you type “Phuket” into an internet search engine, you are presented with endless images of beaches and resorts. But Phuket offers much more than this; the unique Peranakan culture and Sino-Portuguese architecture, with old shophouses, bustling markets, traditional villages and fantastic food, are all here for curious guests to discover.

Naturally, there is also electric nightlife, world-class restaurants and exciting bars to be enjoyed in the popular resort areas. These attractions, combined with the idyllic climate, make the island a wonderful destination for a winter escape, and travelers now come from all over the world to enjoy Phuket’s beautiful beaches and captivating culture. This is truly a destination not to be missed!

What element of Phuket does the hotel take or adapt to the hotel, and in what way?
We believe that Phuket is one of the world’s most welcoming islands, with people that provide hospitality and service that is as warm as the climate. This is what we also aspire to offer at our hotel.

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach, provides a connection between our destination and our brand. Our aim is to create a personal touch, respond to our guests’ needs and ensure that every visitor is able to unwind in comfort and style, while also reflecting Phuket’s authentic culture.

This begins with a warm welcome at the Great Room (Marriott’s lobby) where guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea and sip our homemade flower tea. Our restaurants specialize in locally-inspired cuisine, including ingredients sourced from nearby farms and suppliers. Phuket’s culture is also reflected in our unique room design and amenities, and our local team provides a constantly comforting and welcoming presence.

One of our emblems is the red whiskered bulbul, a native bird that can be seen around the resort and is woven into the fabric of our design. With these touches, we hope to reflect the essence of our island’s exquisite culture, allowing our guests to be at one with Phuket.

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PAPHAPORN PUTHAMART
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
RENAISSANCE PHUKET RESORT & SPA

“Phuket” what do you think of it?
When it comes to Phuket, I always think of its diversity. From beaches, foods, people to the rich culture and history. I think the food cultural here is very distinctive and of course delightful. Many of Phuket’s dishes tell the history and the way of living.

What element of Phuket does the hotel take or adapt to the hotel, and in what way?
At Renaissance, we always connect our guests to the local throughout our activities and services. Our guests can grab a bottle of Kopi while going for the morning walk on the beach. Our Navigators are always keen to recommend the guests to experience the local restaurant. Also, to encourage and excite them to discover Phuket Town, we have created a graffiti hunting game which they can redeem the small gift from hotel.

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WANDI PATTRAWEE
DIRECTOR OF MARCOM, SALES & MARKETING
ANGSANA LAGUNA PHUKET AND ANGSANA VILLAS RESORT PHUKET

“Phuket” what do you think of it?
The first thing that comes to my mind is the white sand beach, deep blue sky and the beautiful view of Andaman Sea. I love Phuket’s golden sky during the sunset it is a great scene and I also like a cozy atmosphere on the beach. In addition, I think of the Phuket Old Town area with colorful Sino-Portuguese architectural buildings. In addition, in Phuket Old Town there are street art paintings, which are the best places to take pictures. Phuket’s delicious foods are indispensable and are so important as Namprik Goog-Seab, Chicken Curry and Roti, Hokkien Mee, Oh Aew, Ah Pong and many more. Phuket is considered a city that combines various cultures to become a city with its own identity. And in 2015 UNESCO Creative Cities Network declared Phuket a Creative City of Gastronomy.

What element of Phuket does the hotel take or adapt to the hotel, and in what way?
First, the hotel has promoted Phuket as a travel destination, tourist attraction, activity and local food. We use all of our communication channels that we have to promote the unique culture of Phuket as on our website and direct recommendations to our guests. And we always present to worldwide media who visit our hotel about Phuket in order to spread out to the world that Phuket has many good things. In addition, the hotel has the Seedlings Phuket Restaurant which provides Phuket local food dishes as Moo Hong, Naam Shoob Yum, Mee Hoon with Crab Curry, Tom Som Pla, Yam Pak Kood, including Oh Aew, all with a taste that is truly Phuket style.

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