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BusinessTravel Guide

PHUKET

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An island for all occasions


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huket, or hill in Malay, emerges out of the Andaman Sea just off the southwestern coast of Thailand and is something of a paradise in itself. Joined to the mainland by two bridges, the island is defined by its mix of shimmering white beaches and underwater wonders, cultural heritage and unique style of cuisine. Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is also one of the country’s most visited regions, served by its own international airport and home to some amazing natural wonders. Its landscape is dominated, as the name suggests, by mountains that stretch north to south down the west side of the island, reaching heights of around 520 metres. While rubber and

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palm oil plantations also cover a large part of the landmass, a significant area of rainforest and coastline is protected by law to enable native flora and fauna to thrive and be explored by visitors. There is truly something for everyone here regardless of budget or purpose for travel. While Patong is renowned as a go-to destination for

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nightlife and entertainment, Phuket City offers a cultural break from the beach life with its distinctive Sino-Portuguese architecture and artisanal food and drink scene. Given its diverse offering, it is little wonder that tourism is a major economic contributor to Phuket’s economy.


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PHUKET Whether seeking out luxury, adventure, culture or budget backpacking opportunities, Thailand’s largest island caters to all travelling needs Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Jordan Levey

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THANYAPURA HEALTH & SPORTS RESORT

120, 120/1 Moo 7, Thepkasattri Road, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand Contact Us: info@thanyapura.com, +66 7633 6000 thanyapura thanyapuraphuket www.thanyapura.com


MAKE THE TIME

INVEST Today’s business executive lives a fast-paced, always-on world shaped by deadlines, client demands and digital distractions. In this world, weeks fly by, weekends are too short, healthy habits start to erode, sleep becomes more elusive and overconsumption of food and alcohol becomes the norm. Over time, these stressors build up and put your health and everything you value — career, family and finances — at risk.

IS A BETTER WAY, BUT ONLY IF YOU “ THERE MAKE THE TIME TO INVEST IN YOURSELF.

Thanyapura Health & Sports Resorts is an oasis for busy executives to rest, recharge and rebalance their lives and lifestyles. We are a destination for personal improvement and help people of all ages and backgrounds regain their fitness, focus and energy levels. Our lifestyle and executive health programs are built around the foundations of good health — exercise, nutrition, detoxification, and bio-chemi-

IN

YOURSELF

cal balance. In a word, we OPTIMIZE your life so your feel, look and perform better…naturally. Thanyapura is both unique and different because we have everything you need in one place — comfortable rooms, complete sports facilities, group classes, a licensed on-site clinic, spas services and restaurants serving delicious and nutritious food. Our lifestyle and executive health programs are developed and supervised by doctors, nutritionists and support staff to ensure your plan fits your needs. We want you to leave feeling refreshed, revitalized and re-engaged. Our philosophy is there is no better investment you can make than investing in your health. The steps you take today will pay dividends for the rest of your life. Make the time to make the change. To learn more about Thanyapura Health and Sports Resort and our lifestyle and executive health programs, visit our website or speak directly to one of our consultants.

#WEOPTIMISEYOURLIFE


P H U K E T

The Business End

FACTS & FIGURES

PHUKET’S WEALTH IS historically based on tin and rubber, the island once serving as a major trade route between India and China for Arabian, French, Portuguese, Dutch and British merchants. While much of the region’s tin mining has closed down, rubber still forms an important part of its economic picture (Thailand is the world’s largest producer of the material), with tourism very much the second major driver of revenue here. The island has recovered from the enormous damage caused by the tsunami that struck in 2004, a natural disaster which killed thousands and left scars on the landscape.

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Tourists continue to arrive in greater numbers – in the first four months of 2018, some 3.5 million passengers landed at Phuket International Airport, an increase of 19 percent on the same period in the previous year. Almost 60 percent of this traffic was international arrivals, which jumped by 28 percent. Phuket’s reach is also growing, with 10 new routes to Chinese cities being opened up in Q1 2018, bringing the total number of routes to and from the country to 33. This bustling tourism scene has enabled the region to become one of the wealthiest in Thailand. Outside of Bangkok, it has the second highest GDP per capita of any province.

Ko Ta Pu islet was made famous by James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun

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Capital: Phuket City Languages: Thai Area: 579 km² Population (2015): 386,605 Currency: Thai baht Time zone: Indochina Time (GMT+7) Dialling code: +66 Internet TLD: .th Climate: Tropical


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Out & About PHUKET’S BEACHES, UNDERSTANDABLY, are its most renowned feature and a massive draw for tourists. Arguably the most famous is the wide, sandy strip at Patong, with other, more laidback beaches to be found in the north at Hat Nai Thon to Hat Kamala, or Karon, Kata, Nai Han, and Rawai in the south. Phuket City is the major administrative centre and home to distinctive architecture, galleries, boutique hotels and Chinese Taoist shrines, supplemented by a authentic Phuketian cuisine and lively local bar scene. The town represents the cultural crossroads it served as during the times of cash-hungry merchants, with clear influences from Arabia, China, India and Portugal visible today.

In terms of activities, the island is awash with choice, from exploring temples (Big Buddha is a must-see example) and snorkelling to sea kayaking and cycling. It is perhaps under the sea, however, where Phuket’s real gems lie. Some of Thailand’s most breathtaking sites can be found under the surface of the Andaman Sea, and a range of operators offer diving tuition and experiences for all levels of ability. A day trip to Ko Phi-Phi is well worth adding to your itinerary, as is a visit to the Similan Islands, home to national park-protected sites.

Some of Thailand’s most breath-taking sites can be found under the surface of the Andaman Sea, and a range of operators offer diving tuition and experiences for all levels of ability

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P H U K E T

Outlook Recommends “Jade-hued waves concealing rainbows of fish wash white-gold beaches wrapped in Phuketian heritage: Phuket (ภูเก็ต), Thailand’s dazzling largest island, is so diverse you may forget to leave” – Lonely Planet

HOSPITALITY

NATURE

Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort A health and wellness haven of Phuket, Thanyapura is home to some of the finest sports facilities in the region, boasting triathlon training, aquatics training, tennis training, gym facilities, fitness classes, sports science support and much more. In terms of accommodation, the resort is split into two wings – the 77room Pool Wing and 37-room Garden Wing – while the site also comprises a medical centre, which provides detox and weight loss, regenerative and anti-ageing, beauty, chiropractic and physiotherapy services. Its food offering is, unsurprisingly, focussed on health and nutrition, with Thai, Asian and Western all prepared daily using fresh, organic ingredients.

Cape Sienna Hotel & Villas A chic five-star resort on Kamala beach, Cape Sienna offers luxury rooms and villas along with a range of restaurants, bars and other amenities. A major draw of Cape Sienna is its exclusive beachside location, presenting guests with unrivalled views of the sea.

Nai Harn Beach

SALA Phuket Resort and Spa Splash Beach Resort Serenity Resort and Residences

Green Elephant Sanctuary Park

FOOD & DRINK Dee Plee Vista Rock Salt

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Soi Dog Foundation

Freedom beach


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Phuket Hotels Association HELPING TO CHAMPION the tourism offering of the region is the Phuket Hotels Association. Trisara Hotel Managing Director and General Manager Anthony Lark took on the role of founding President, building the membership of the island’s leading hotels, which now totals 65 properties. We asked Lark for some more insight on both the work of the organisation and the growing appeal of Phuket as a destination. Asia Outlook (AsO): Can you firstly talk me through the origins of the Phuket Hotels Association, how it came about, and its initial vision? Anthony Lark (AL): Phuket Hotels Association was formed in January 2016. The Association was founded by Bill Barnett of Phuket-based hospitality consulting firm C9 Hotelworks. The original vision was to provide a forum for the hotel owners and management to discuss issues that were of common interest and to

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develop a healthy dialogue between hotels. The main goals were to raise awareness of environmental issues affecting the island, to support education of Phuket’s future local hoteliers, and to promote the good news stories about the destination in marketing Phuket. A long-time advocate of the destination, publishing regular hotel and tourism data on the market, it has also been long believed that the island’s hospitality sector needed to continue to not only take out, but also promote a sustainable path of long-term success. Mr Barnett brought in key tourism figures such as former Laguna Phuket Managing Director Michael Ayling, who contributed time to help set-up the organisation. AsO: Since inception, how has the Phuket Hotels Association developed and progressed in terms of its key objectives and the messages it tries to get across?

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AL: All of the hotel members have a strong commitment to the destination and through Phuket Hotels Association are active in investing in its future through key long-term environmental and educational programmes, which will provide the foundations for ongoing development and sustainable success. We currently support 33 fulltime scholarship students in Phuket hotel schools. We work in an industry where human capital is key to the sector. Within the year we will have over 50 students in the programme. The Phuket Hotels Association’s events are not just about charity; it’s investing in the most important hotel asset – people. PHIST has a similar focus on our own local community and recognising the impact of mass tourism. While the association is a small organisation, it has power to initiate and influence the broader island tourism players. Lead by example remains the best mantra.


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AsO: How would you say Phuket has developed in recent years as a business travel hub and what are the key reasons behind its growing appeal? AL: You can’t stay there if you can’t get there. Airlift is key, the rise of low-cost airline carriers. Ultimately, it’s location, location and location. One third of the world’s population is within easy door to door travel time and the emergence of a growing Asian consumer class has packed a powerful punch. AsO: Why, in your opinion, should someone visit Phuket? AL: Warm weather all year, Asia’s cleanest air, sincere hospitality, great value and of course some of the best food in the world. In addition, the island is the gateway to the magical Phang Nga Bay, Krabi, and hundreds of beautiful tropical islands accessible via Phuket’s five international marinas. AsO: Are there any specific attractions, landmarks or places to eat and drink that you would recommend? AL: Ask a local. Get out of the hotel

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“One thing that is great in Thailand is you can eat 24-seven – it’s a cultural phenomenon and there is no place like it” or resort and explore. Now is the best time to be a traveller with all the resources on our smartphones, but I still prefer old school and ask locals where they prefer. One thing that is great in Thailand is you can eat 24-seven – it’s a cultural phenomenon and there is no place like it. AsO: What trends are transforming the tourism industry in Phuket at present, and how do you see Phuket developing as a business travel hub over the next year to two years? AL: Hotels and destinations are being driven by offering unique life-

ASIA changing experiences. With access and more large facilities, Phuket is attracting a growing MICE (meetings, incentives, exhibitions and events) scene. Last year this was to the tune of around $340 million according to TCEB (Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau). AsO: Are there any plans or projects in the pipeline that you wish to highlight? AL: Central Group has a new mega mall in Phuket and in 2019 the Aquaria marine themed attraction will open… it’s a world class facility. Another is Blue Tree, a family-oriented attraction. As the island is growing into a broader market, tourism is no longer just about the beach. AsO: Are you optimistic about the future of the tourism industry in Phuket? AL: Absolutely. Phuket remains a dynamic destination that has helped define Asia’s leisure growth. It’s scale of quality hotels and tourism infrastructure is demonstrated and with the new expanded airport, geared to grow.

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P H U K E T

Transport Links THOSE ARRIVING BY air will find themselves in the north of the island, around 30 kilometres from Phuket City. In 2018 a new Phuket Smart Bus service launched, running between the airport Rawai via Ao Bang Thao, Surin, Kamala, Patong, Karon and Kata. The whole route lasts around two hours. There are also plenty of vehicle hire options from Phuket International, with car and motorcycle hire representing reasonably economical ways of getting around. Many, however, opt for taxis or Grab, which is a great way of travelling in groups. For those wanting to experience the open air, large passenger pickup trucks called sŏrng·tăa·ou and tuk-tuks offer an alternative to air-conditioned cars. Lying a few kilometres south of

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Phuket City is Tha Rassada, the main pier for boats to and from Ko Phi-Phi, Krabi, Ao Nang, Ko Lanta, the Trang Islands, Ko Lipe and Pulau Langkawi in Malaysia. Other ways of reaching Thai cities include frequent and fast air routes, interstate buses and shared minivans.

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Phuket’s Largest Pillar-less Event & Wedding Space Book now at www.splashbeachresort.com

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Landmark Attractions

Big Buddha

“Phuket Big Buddha has the best 360-degree views of the southern part of Phuket island, sightseeing of Phuket Town, Kata beach, Karon beach, Chalong Bay… easily reachable by a six-kilometre road leading from Phuket’s Chaofa road West” – Phuket Big Buddha

Phuket Old Town

“Long before flip-flops, glossy resorts and selfie sticks, Phuket was an island of rubber trees, tin mines and cashhungry merchants” – Lonely Planet

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REST RELAX RECHARGE

To find out more please call: +66 76 371 900 or visit - www.serenityphuket.com

Sirinat National Park

“Comprising the exceptional northwestern beaches of Nai Thon, Nai Yang and Mai Khao, as well as the former Nai Yang National Park and Mai Khao Wildlife Reserve, Sirinat National Park encompasses 22 square kilometres of coastal land, plus 68 square kilometres of sea, stretching from the northern reaches of Ao Bang Thao to the northernmost tip of the island” – Lonely Planet

Promthep Cape

“Promthep Cape is one of the island’s most photographed and perhaps bestknown locations. Every evening, large tour buses, scooters and private cars sweep through Rawai Beach and up the island’s southernmost hill in order to watch the sunset at its peak” – Hotels.com

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BusinessTravel Guide joe.palliser@outlookpublishing.com

+44 (0)1603 959 676

ryan.gray@outlookpublishing.com

+44 (0)1603 959 672

jordan.levey@outlookpublishing.com

+44 (0)1603 959 668

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Profile for Outlook Publishing

PHUKET BUSINESS TRAVEL GUIDE  

Phuket Business Travel Guide - Asia Outlook Issue 37

PHUKET BUSINESS TRAVEL GUIDE  

Phuket Business Travel Guide - Asia Outlook Issue 37