We have been advocating on this site the importance a beach resort town plays in the overall attractiveness of a destination.
The poll below conducted by Phuket Gazette confirms this view. Surprisingly, not even the beaches alone comes close in terms of attractiveness. Next to Patong’s nightlife in terms of attractive is ‘Phuket’s unique mix of all the above’ – in other words Phuket’s entire tourism eco-system.
Now can you understand why Malaysians consider Langkawi ‘dead’ while the Thais are enjoying Phuket’s nightlife?
If you are responsible for tourism and destination development or are master planning one of Asia’s emerging resort locations keep this in mind. The next level of a destination’s competitive advantage will be more than beaches – it will stem from the attractiveness of the destination’s entire tourism eco-system with the core being a compelling beach resort town.
Via Phuket Gazette
Overall, 34.2% of respondents said it was “Phuket’s unique mix” of beaches; natural beauty; Patong nightlife; and value for money offered.
However, Patong nightlife topped the poll as the most popular single attraction. Leading the charge were Thais, of whom 71% voted Patong nightlife as the main reason to come to Phuket. In comparison, 26% of tourists and 16% of local foreign residents marked the party hub as their top choice.
Hardly an encouraging result for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was that more than 20% of respondents overall said they didn’t know why anyone would come to Phuket.
They may have a point. It certainly wasn’t for “the natural beauty of Phuket and the surrounding region”, which landed just 7% of the votes, or even the oft-touted beaches of Phuket, which garnered a meager 6.4%.
What must be even more disappointing for the TAT was that 13% of the tourists visiting the island said they didn’t know why they came. Such an appraisal of Phuket’s lack of draw was supported by 29% of the local foreign residents and 16% of Thais responding to the poll.