“A Magical Island Event” was held at Latitude Marquee inside the Laguna Phuket resort complex and more than lived up to its name with a dazzling evening of wining, dining, and world-class entertainment.
The star attraction was X Factor UK singing sensation Marcus Collins, who flew in specially from London to perform, followed by a captivating set from Mark Zitti E I Fratelli Coltelli and his six-piece Italian swing band who flew in from Italy. Phuket favourite DJ Benjamin Jenkins later took over to keep the dance floor pumping.
Guests made donations to the scholarship fun by purchasing tickets for the charity event, which also featured a live and silent auction with an impressive line-up of prizes that included everything from luxury hotel stays in Bangkok, Hollywood, London, Sydney, Maldives to gourmet dining experiences and a week-long cruise aboard a 77ft private yacht.
Mr Norraphat Plodthong, the newly appointed Governor of Phuket, gave an opening speech in which he commended the Phuket Hotels Association and its members for recognizing and supporting local people to ensure their active participation in the island’s tourism industry.
He also expressed hope that Phuket Hotels Association would actively engage in preserving the island’s natural beauty, particularly with regard to reducing the amount of plastic used and discarded by visitors, and by training their staff to be more conscious of the negative long-term impact of pollution on their lives and livelihoods.
A number of respected Thai educational institutions are participating in he PHA scholarship program, including Prince of Songkla University (Phuket Campus), Phuket Rajabhat University, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) Phuket Campus, and Ramkhamhang University (Phuket Campus).
Candidates will be chosen based on their skills and commitment and awarded a range of opportunities that includes 2-, 3- and 4-year vocational, diploma courses, bachelor and master degree programs, as well as overseas training.
Bill Barnett, Managing Director of award-winning hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks and one of the founders of the PHA, added, “We have been building this association for six years so it’s gratifying to see so many Phuket hoteliers join forces to support the island community.
"Human capital is our biggest asset, but also our biggest challenge in the hospitality business. By guiding and training the hotel staff of the future we are helping create a legacy of success for Phuket,” he added.
Anthony Lark, President of the Phuket Hotels Association added, “It’s crucial that we all work together to build and maintain a positive image for this beautiful island while protecting its natural assets at the same time. This event is a great start because it demonstrates how much we can achieve when we work towards a common goal.
"So many volunteers, sponsors and supporters helped create this amazing fundraising effort. It’s very encouraging to work with such a wide range of organizations and individuals, to support the local community and show the world that Phuket is a top class and socially conscious destination," he added.
The Phuket Hotels Association has 55 member hotels and 30 of them showcased their exceptional food and beverage offerings during “A Magical Island Event”. Next year’s event – PHAB 2 – is already being planned and promises to offer an even more spectacular display of top drawer hospitality and entertainment.
Meanwhile, a number of incredible prizes are still open for bidding and can be viewed here.
For more information on Phuket Hotels Association visit: phukethotelsassociation.com