another publication by IMAGE asia

Poomiphat 'Tom' Navanukroh

Poomiphat 'Tom' Navanukroh (Group Director – Travel lndustry, Kasemkij Hotels) reveals why, out of all the Kasmkij properties, the acclaimed Cape Panwa Hotel holds a special place in his heart. He also tells how events like the Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek benefit the Phuket community far beyond the pleasure of sailing.

Where were you born and where are you living now?
I was born in Bangkok and I still live there.

How much of your time do you spend in Phuket?
I travel to Phuket every month to audit the standard of services and product of our properties, normally for between five and seven days.

Are you involved in any charities, clubs or associations?
I am a member of TSPCA (Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and assisting Kasemkij Hotels in organising its annual charity activity for the SOS Children’s Villages in Thailand.

Could you tell us a bit about your family life?
My two children (a daughter and a son) are in university. I travel quite extensively and my wife is also in the hotel industry, so we do not get the chance to be together much. However, we try to have a meal together at least once a week and one long vacation together once a year.

What made you decide to enter the hospitality/hotel field?
I guess because of my desire to meet a lot of people from around the world, and in my earlier years it was quite a prestigious and difficult field to enter.

How long have you been working with Kasemkij hotels?
I have been with Kasemkij Hotels for 22 years, but actually with Cape Panwa for 24 years as I started working with the hotel when it was under the management of Sheraton during 1989-1991.

Could you tell us more about Cape Panwa Hotel and the work you do with this and other Kasemkij hotels?
My first position at the Cape Panwa Hotel was the Director of Sales in 1991. I was based in Bangkok and worked as the General Manager for Cape House, Cape Panwa and Cape Racha Hotel before being promoted to the Group Director – Travel Industry in 2008.

I'm responsible for the sales and marketing for the leisure market for the 17 properties owned by Kasemkij Hotels and for the operations of five Cape and Kantary properties in major leisure destinations: Cape Panwa Hotel-Phuket, Kantary Bay-Phuket, Kantary Beach-Khao Lak, Cape Nidhra Hotel-Hua Hin and Cape House-Bangkok.

Out of 17 properties, the Cape Panwa Hotel has always been more than a hotel for me, as it has everything that a holiday-maker could wishe for: spacious rooms, secluded beach, natural tropical garden, plenty of restaurants and bars, spa, private jetty, tours, water sport facilities including a yacht and speedboats. It really is a dream holiday destination.

Cape Panwa Hotel is set to be the Title Sponsor for the Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek regatta again this year. What made you decide to continue the hotel’s involvement with this event?
Initially we signed a contract to be the title sponsor for Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek for two years during 2012-13.

The feedback we received from those who attended last year's event was overwhelming. We found that sports tourism activities such as this help to create awareness as well as economic benefits for the hotel and the Cape Panwa area. To our surprise, a lot of people who attended Phuket Raceweek last year said that they previously didn't know that Cape Panwa Hotel had such a beautiful beach and that the location was ideal for yacht racing at this time of the year. It's the only area in Phuket where the sea is calm and safe for any water sport activities during the southwest monsoon.

We're aiming to make the event recognised as one of the best regattas in Asia and eventually the best in the world. For this reason, we've decided that we will continue to be the Title Sponsor for at least another two years, until 2015, as we believe that a long-term commitment will be required to achieve our goal.

How important are these events in helping to market a hotel and destination? Do you see any areas where Phuket could improve as an events destination?
Events can certainly deliver key messages about a hotel, a destination and a community’s positive image to the world. The events may be in the form of MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions), sporting events, cultural events or they may be award functions like the Thailand Film Festival. In other words, an event acts as an attraction for people from outside the local community to visit the location and spend money on accommodation, food and leisure activities at the destination. Events also help to build an image in the minds of tourists who have never visited the place before.

I think that if the Phuket Convention Centre can ever be built, it will bring a lot of quality travellers and income to the island. I’m hoping that it will be better organised than the Chiang Mai Convention Centre, which was open just for the 2nd Asia Pacific Water Summit in May 2013. It has since had no management to market the Centre and has held no further events.

For Further information about Kasemkij Hotels
Tel: +66 2 233 3433