“We agree that Phuket as a destination is a brand on its own. However, despite its popularity, the island suffers a lack of perception. We then found that there was a need to reintroduce Phuket, to show its incredible variety in terms of products, culture, nature and bring some good news about the destination”, explained Anthony Lark, President of Phuket Hotels Association but also GM of Trisara Resort on the island.
The official launching of the Phuket brand was taking place during Thailand Tourism Forum, a major event organised in Bangkok on Monday at the InterContinental Hotel. The event brought some 500 hotel industry professionals to look at trends in Thailand travel and tourism industry.
A true brand for Phuket is to give the island the desire exposure and drive the profile of the destination around the world. “We found a simple easy logo which emphasizes the nature of Phuket as a destination but also highlights the fact that we are in Thailand. In a way, Phuket concentrates all the assets that Thailand offers as a destination”, told David Keen, CEO of branding agency QUO, which stands behind the new Phuket brand.
“It is critical that the island’s amazing attractions are harnessed under one umbrella. We have formed a memorable identity that will bring distinction, a better cultural understanding and we hope stronger desire for the destination,” added Keen.
In contrary to Bali in Indonesia -which is very much centered around seaside activities, wellness and culture, Phuket ‘s image is less defined as the island offers all kind of experiences.
“There is little comprehension from the tourist when we talk about Phuket. Some see of course our beaches, some others look at the entertainment activities, some others look at the old town with its historical buildings. But Phuket is moving fast with a vibrant cuisine scene, excellent shopping facilities, a lively home-grown culture and beautiful nature. We need to summarize it under one single branding”, explained Anthony Lark.
“Phuket will certainly continue to attract more travellers in the future, especially as infrastructure are now moving forward. In that way, the brand will certainly help to attract also investors as it helps to position the island”, added David Keen. Phuket last year received some 7.5 million visitors according to preliminary data. It makes the island ASEAN most visited seaside resort destination.
Phuket Hotels Association -which represents 62 members offering a total of over 9,000 rooms- is also looking at being a reference for a quality-driven product, advised by Thai veteran in tourism, Wichit Na Ranong, former President of Thailand Tourism Council. “We particularly emphasize environment-friendly practices as well as education”, highlighted Lark.
Having a brand could also be a way to raise the quality of the tourism experience for the traveller. “The brand could indeed work as a kind of quality endorsement for individuals and companies involved into tourism. We could even think of launching a Phuket card with our logo, which would provide various benefits to the traveller, from discounts to special prizes in museums or at some attractions”, added Lark. “This is something that we definitely should look at in a second step”, said the President of Phuket Hotels Association.