A Phuket New Year
A strange part of New Year in Phuket is waking on the morning of January 1st bleary of eye and aching of sinew and saying to yourself…. “Right that’s enough of the dissolute lifestyle into which I have plummeted in this decadent playground. From now on it will be soda water, daily exercise and good deeds for me and no compromises.”
Yes, well…..hope and its close cousin self delusion, spring eternal in the human breast and while statistics show that over ninety percent of New Year’s resolutions are broken within the first week, there are in Phuket many people who mean it when they make their New Year resolutions and actually stick to them.
Here’s a selection.
John Gray – Kayaking Legend and Environmental Warrior
“My resolution is to increase my commitment to protect all living things. All life is interconnected, from the Universe to our own Earth (infected as it is with over-population and resultant global warming), to animals suffering and the evils of Asian medicines and human inhumanity which harm elephants, tigers, rhinos, sharks, even our local Tokay. Phuket’s animal horrors include dolphin and porpoise prisons; gibbons and tiger cubs kept for photo opportunities with tourists; our shocking Phuket Zoo; and the dog meat trade. Phang Nga Bay is a living organism suffering the cancer of over-commercialization.
It is our duty to understand that human are nothing but overgrown monkeys within the web of Universal life. We primates are the most marvelous machine we know, capable of reaching the stars. If we still have compassion, we suffer the pain of the animals which share this planet. They all have souls, intelligence, emotions and families the same as our human brethren”.
Bhuritt Maswongssa-Vice President Marketing, Phuket Tourist Association
“I have responsibility for promoting Phuket as a tourism destination worldwide driving maximum arrivals and resulting revenue, so I have a great belief in seeing green and sustainable tourist development for Phuket.
Clearly higher numbers of tourist arrivals mean more environmental, cultural and social impacts and this does not bode well for future sustainability unless these impacts are effectively managed. The problem we have at present is that most in our industry have a very short term attitude and are only concerned about profitability right now, rather than longer term sustainability.
My resolution would be to put in place strong government and private sector bodies which have the mandate to control and regulate the way in which tourist developments occurs. They need to be well-funded and have the ‘teeth’ to actually make policy really work. But at present I can see little will power to do this. Governments continually change in Thailand and new ministers and governors come and go and they are all focused on making a profit out of tourism right now. It is not a particularly encouraging situation”.
Bill Barnett – Lifestyle Guru
Bill Barnett is the Managing Director of resort, property and hospitality consultants C9 Hotelworks and a veteran Asian-based hotelier with experience embracing the Four Seasons, Regent, Ritz Carlton, Grand Hyatt and Hilton groups.
Known for his trenchant wit, Bill had this to say about his wishes for 2012.
“While I hope that Thailand continues to be a life less ordinary, after so much recent excitement perhaps for 2012 a little more ‘ordinary’ might be a nice change for a while.
As for my own wishes, I would like to see no import tax on wine and more time to spend in my favorite place in the world – Phuket”.
Let’s give the final word to John Gray who says, “On New Year’s Eve, join me in rejoicing – step outside, spread your arms to the stars and give thanks to the universe for our glorious little planet…..and let’s promise to take better care of it next year”