Today Travel Daily Asia chats with Pierre-Andre Pelletier, General Manager of Amari Phuket and Vice President & Area General Manager South Thailand…
Q) How has Phuket’s hotel sector performed this year, and is Amari Phuket following this trend?
During the first half of the year, downward performance has been recorded in Phuket overall and in our competitive set in particular. However during the same period Amari Phuket has been out-performing its competitors enjoying greater occupancy and average room rate.
This performance was the result of our well established reputation for consistently providing great product and service, our unique location and our high ranking on consumers’ website, etc.
We also opened on 1 June this year our brand new Ocean Wing adding 183 one- and two-bedroom suites to the original hotel. Today, our resort features 380 rooms or units and 412 rooms in total.
Q) What are your hotel’s main guest source markets (in terms of nationality) and are you seeing an increase in visitors from Asia’s key emerging markets?
Our top three nationalities are Australia, UK and China. India market keeps developing and demand from neighboring Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong have been steadily growing particularly for short stay of three nights in average.
It is also great to highlight that South Africa and Middle East markets are also growing as we see more visitors spending their holidays from those countries on our beautiful island.
Q) There is a lot of new supply entering the Phuket hotel sector at present; how is Amari Phuket keeping up with this new influx of competition?
Well, in our segment, there was not that much addition of supply this year but there will be from 2017 onwards. For us, there is really only one way to stay on the top of our market, it is by consistently provide excellent quality hospitality to all our guests and ensure that every guest is satisfied when staying with us. It needs passion, drive and energy and a great team and we have plenty of that! We also have entered preferred partnerships with key operators from leading source markets which have been very fruitful to date.
Q) How positive is the outlook for Phuket’s hotel/tourism sector, and what steps do you think need to be taken to improve?
Demand for the coming high season is good for Phuket. The opening of the new international terminal at the airport in February next year will drive additional traffic. The local authorities have also been very active improving the island infrastructure particularly tackling traffic issues and road conditions.
Some leading airlines from the Middle East such as Emirates and Qatar Airways have increased their number of direct weekly flights for the next high season and this only shows how confident they are about Phuket in the coming months. Overall the outlook for Amari Phuket is good.
Q) What further developments can we expect to see at Amari Phuket in the coming months/years?
Amari Phuket completed the full renovation of the original hotel in 2014 and we opened this year our brand new Ocean Wing.
The only further development we currently work on is our new Sport Centre planned to open in December this year. The centre is located on the top of the resort hill surrounded by luxuriant tropical garden and will feature two tennis courts, two mini soccer fields, one multipurpose court for basketball and badminton and two squash courts.
This will give us additional competitive advantage as none of our competitors on the island have such sport facility. We are all looking forward to it!