'Brand Phuket' still defies definition
PHUKET: The American Chamber of Commerce in Phuket (AmCham) and the Phuket PR Network on May 24 held the first of four meetings to try to come up with a definition of “Brand Phuket”.
Thursday 31 May 2012, 07:03PM
The series was sparked by a deliberately provocative question from Bangkok-based brand guru David Keen at an AmCham seminar in Phuket last November. His question was simple: “What is Phuket?”
There were no answers then, and there were no answers yesterday, either, though there is now a sense that some of the people who spoke, and those in the audience, have been giving the matter some thought.
This first session focused on sport (the next will be on culture) and was kicked off by Debbie Dionysius, Assistant Vice President – Destination Marketing at Laguna Phuket.
She focused on the inception and growth of the Laguna Triathlon, the addition of the Ironman 70.3 triathlon series, and the Laguna Phuket International Marathon series, the latest of which will take place on June 12.
She presented figures showing the huge growth of the three events in terms of competitors, their spending, and above all the value of the events in promoting Phuket as a sports destination.
Duncan Worthington of Infinity PR and Go Yachting, presented a similar portrait of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, with the media mileage it generates, the cash value to the island of the 1,000 sailors taking part, and the buzz created for Phuket on the internet.
Other speakers were sponsorship specialist Paul Poole and Nick Seaver, CEO of Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club.
While the two main speakers made it quite clear that sports events are important to bringing in high-paying visitors and – more relevant – pushing Brand Phuket out into the world, just what that brand is, is still far from clear.
The organisers will be hoping that the next three sessions will bring the brand more into focus.