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Thread: Phuket - A premium tourist destination??

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    Phuket - A premium tourist destination??

    We love Phuket for all its great points and can put up with, and be amused by, the irritations and spend most of our time here.
    But never would I suggest it is a "premium" destination.

    For starters, the weather is far too inconsistent and there is too much rain for a 52 week destination. Tourists are bitterly disappointed when it rains for 4 or 5 days during a 10 day vacation. For European travellers, the Caribbean has much more consistent weather and the resort we go to gives a "sunshine" guarantee that gives you a free night if there is no sun (not rain, just cloudy) all day.

    What are your thoughts on all the other features a premium priced tourist destination needs and how Phuket fulfils them?


    The article below in Phuketwan yesterday

    Phuket Resorts, Tour Operators Face Set Price Regulation Aimed at Moving Phuket Upmarket



    By Chuitma Sidasathian Friday, August 22, 2014
    PHUKET: Dramatic changes aimed at ending price-cutting in Phuket's tours industry and among all Phuket resorts are now being introduced, a leading Phuket official said today.

    Controls on prices would end commissions of up to 50 percent now being paid to taxi and tuk-tuk drivers - an excessive rate that some people say will eventually destroy Phuket's tourism competitiveness.

    Santi Pawai, the newly-appointed head of the Bureau of Tourism Business and Guide Registration, said a crackdown on illegal guides will be followed next week by a deadline for the registration of tour companies and counter-tour operators.

    Khun Santi's strategy, outlined to Phuketwan today, includes a move towards all Phuket resorts as well as tour companies being obliged to stop slashing prices so they compete instead on service alone.

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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    The Caribbean is more consistent weather-wise, and the tourism industry as a whole seems more stable and first world/sophisticated business approaches are used (like the one you mentioned). That said, my honest opinion is Thailand is a family draw mostly for those already in the region. My guess is that if they did a study (lack of reliable statistics taken) they'd see that among westerners, they get way more Aussies and Kiwis than Yanks or Brits. And for non-wsterners, it's probably the Chinese by a mile.

    I bring this up because I doubt many Aussies, Chinese or Kiwis are likely to go all the way to the Caribbean for their vacations. Maybe once in a lifetime, but doubtful they do it every time. So I dont think Phuket should be compared to places globally when in fact, that's probably not what drives most folks to give Phuket a try. Locality is. I personally didnt go to Phuket until I wanted to go as far away from America and American influence as possible. Just wanted a break from my own culture and even in other countries near the US, you still dont really get away from it. Before that though, I stuck with Mexico or Caribbean cruises, like most folks in the US.

    Secondly, I think ya gotta take it further and ask "what other tourist beach towns exist in SE Asia?"... ya got a lot in the Philippines, but it's a bit of a haul and you'd face a lot of the same problems many people complain about in Phuket. There's Sihanoukville next door in Cambodia... rustic, but nowhere near the level of development. I'm sure as big as Vietnam's coastline is, they gotta have a few quaint beach towns, but I cant even name one.

    So, in my opinion it's probably not a premium destination, but within it's vicinity it's kind of the obvious choice... even if they keep shooting themselves in the foot (over & over)...
    Last edited by WarProfiteer; 23rd August 2014 at 09:53.
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    Senior Member Mr. Smiley's Avatar
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    Hawaii in the US is always a big draw. In terms of proximity of other tourist islands to North America.

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    Senior Member slampay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley View Post
    Hawaii in the US is always a big draw. In terms of proximity of other tourist islands to North America.
    But no beach loungers....
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    Like all mainstream destinations you have a range of facilities for all budgets - if you have the dough to stay at Laguna etc, then sure, Phuket is a premium destination if you dont venture out of the the resort!

    Phuket is now too big to become an exclusive 'premium destination' - the tour group Asians will think most 2 or 3* hotels are pretty 'premium' and anyone staying in Patong or Phuket 'City' would struggle to find it 'premium'.

    Price fixing and removing competitive pricing is just typical TiT stupidity .... and of course won't work .... it will just create a higher floor price to rip off the tourists!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley View Post
    Hawaii in the US is always a big draw. In terms of proximity of other tourist islands to North America.
    Yes and Hawaian Airlines are flying out of NZ and presumably Australia soon if not yet. Price for price Hawaii offers a better experience weather and tourist attractions. This is where Thailand has to be price conscious in the medium market.

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    Senior Member slampay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLandHim View Post
    Yes and Hawaian Airlines are flying out of NZ and presumably Australia soon if not yet. Price for price Hawaii offers a better experience weather and tourist attractions. This is where Thailand has to be price conscious in the medium market.
    Hard to compare the two TL. Depends on what your looking for but, in Hawaii, your in the States. No smoking or drinking on the beaches, the bars close at 1am and you deffo have to have a rental car to drive home drunk. A DUI in Hawaii is a couple of beers and boom goes the dynamite.

    Oh, and a handy in massage parlor will set you back about 7000 bt. No touchy, no feely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slampay View Post
    Hard to compare the two TL. Depends on what your looking for but, in Hawaii, your in the States. No smoking or drinking on the beaches, the bars close at 1am and you deffo have to have a rental car to drive home drunk. A DUI in Hawaii is a couple of beers and boom goes the dynamite.

    Oh, and a handy in massage parlor will set you back about 7000 bt. No touchy, no feely.
    Yes, nice place to have been, but wouldn't go back, nice beaches, good weather but a bit boring for us. Plenty of high end places that are magnificent and if you want to spend money a great place to spend it.

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    Asia is so cheap and easy from Australia and Thailand in particular has high end areas like Laguna as expressed above, so I believe along with a reasonably different cultural experience, quality beaches, variation in lodgings from 1 to 5 star it fits the bill for me and many other Aussies as premium.

    I loved the Caribbean as well as Mexico, but the cost and time to get there puts it as much more a once only option from here.

    Hawaii IMO doesn't have anything that outguns either Thailand or the Caribbean or Mexico, but again is only my opinion and I didn't travel 5 star there. Just didn't have the diversity or cultural experience.

    I think I find the cultural difference as a bonus star rating.
    I can go to anywhere on the barrier reef in an hour flight or less if I want luxury and everything most other places offer or better, but it generally doesn't give me the same kick for the same domesticated reason as Hawaii (bareboat charter holiday not included in that summation).

    It is also why I prefer Vietnam to Thailand. While in general terms it doesn't have the beaches that Phuket has, I find it a much bigger cultural and therefore exciting place to visit than Thailand.
    It can be a little bit difficult to do many things which makes seemingly simple daily functions an often funny or memorable experience (and sometimes frustrating of course) but when your heart rate increases just crossing the road, it adds something to the total experience.
    Without trying to start a comparison, IMO it also has the more attractive and better built women. I'm yet to find better in Asia, although I'm more than willing to investigate 555.

    I often refer to Thailand as Vietnam stuffed up due to it's westernization and motor vehicle traffic. But that is also what makes it so much more accessible and premium to English speaking westerners. Best of both worlds I guess is what I mean. Diverse culture but a reasonable english speaking comfort.

    Each to their own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLandHim View Post
    For starters, the weather is far too inconsistent and there is too much rain for a 52 week destination. Tourists are bitterly disappointed when it rains for 4 or 5 days during a 10 day vacation. For European travellers, the Caribbean has much more consistent weather and the resort we go to gives a "sunshine" guarantee that gives you a free night if there is no sun (not rain, just cloudy) all day.
    I don't see what the weather has to do with it being a premium destination. In high season the weather is just fine, and tourists are not staying 52 weeks a year. If 52 week fine weather were necessary for a premium tourist destination, we wouldn't have many of them in Europe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarProfiteer View Post
    I bring this up because I doubt many Aussies, Chinese or Kiwis are likely to go all the way to the Caribbean for their vacations.
    Quite right!

    There's very little incentive to go. We have beaches every bit as nice as theirs. And that's all these sort of destinations have going for them. It's only 8 and a half hours to Fiji from here(far less from New Zealand), but I've never been and have no interest either and nor do most Kiwis. Why? There's fuck all to do there except sit on your ass all day and eat and drink and sleep. And it mostly attracts the more pompous types, or the peasants who want to experience a "Hollywood" lifestyle for about 6 days, and so save up for 10 years and end up staying in hotels costing a grand a night, so they can go home and flood Facebook with pictures of their ugly children.

    Thailand by comparison is a whole different animal. The food, the variety, the shopping, the nightlife and the bars, and all the touristy shit you can want in a holiday.

    But I still don't understand why families from Europe and America would go all the way there. Unless you want to see the country, in which case it doesn't make sense to spend your whole time on one island anyway. You can never do anything meaningful when hauling little shits around with ya. Thailand is still a place better suited to adventurers, or single men wanting to escape from problems back home.

    Edit: Premium is a subjective concept anyway. I personally don't feel comfortable in a 5 star hotel. Premium for me is being within staggering distance of the seedy, vomit infested Bangla and all it's bars and gogos. 555
    Last edited by Bacon; 24th August 2014 at 10:23.
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    Senior Member slampay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
    Quite right!

    There's very little incentive to go. We have beaches every bit as nice as theirs. And that's all these sort of destinations have going for them. It's only 8 and a half hours to Fiji from here(far less from New Zealand), but I've never been and have no interest either and nor do most Kiwis. Why? There's fuck all to do there except sit on your ass all day and eat and drink and sleep. And it mostly attracts the more pompous types, or the peasants who want to experience a "Hollywood" lifestyle for about 6 days, and so save up for 10 years and end up staying in hotels costing a grand a night, so they can go home and flood Facebook with pictures of their ugly children.

    Thailand by comparison is a whole different animal. The food, the variety, the shopping, the nightlife and the bars, and all the touristy shit you can want in a holiday.

    But I still don't understand why families from Europe and America would go all the way there. Unless you want to see the country, in which case it doesn't make sense to spend your whole time on one island anyway. You can never do anything meaningful when hauling little shits around with ya. Thailand is still a place better suited to adventurers, or single men wanting to escape from problems back home.

    Edit: Premium is a subjective concept anyway. I personally don't feel comfortable in a 5 star hotel. Premium for me is being within staggering distance of the seedy, vomit infested Bangla and all it's bars and gogos. 555
    Because they can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slampay View Post
    Because they can.

    If you ever have a family, you'll admire their effort and liquidity.
    My point was mostly about the long haul. Those flights are taxing on most adults. Children with energy to burn and a need to run around must go through hell having to sit down and shutup for 20 hours. Not that a lot of them do. Fucking turds! 55
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    I would have thought Hawaii would be a Japanese Economic Region by now.
    Been there 4 times in the 60's-70s and the amount of Jap tour groups with flag bearing and whistle-blowing guides was almost over-whelming.
    A bit like what we complain about here now with the Chinese.
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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    I think you may find that Hawaii (and pretty much the rest of the world) has changed sone the 70's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarProfiteer View Post
    I think you may find that Hawaii (and pretty much the rest of the world) has changed sone the 70's.
    So the Japs have left?

    And of course the world has changed - my generation had a big part in that BTW! 555!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilbaz View Post
    So the Japs have left?

    And of course the world has changed - my generation had a big part in that BTW! 555!
    Were you beaten, raped or had your wallet stolen by these Japs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacon View Post
    were you beaten, raped or had your wallet stolen by these japs?
    wtf !!!!!!! ????
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    I don't know, you just seem upset they were there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
    Were you beaten, raped or had your wallet stolen by these Japs?
    Is that another one of their game shows
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