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Somjai Tungkoo

How long have you been with Twinpalms Phuket? What’s your position and what attracted you to the job?
I’ve been with Twinpalms Phuket for 10 years and now I'm Twinpalms Group Executive Manager. I love working at this level, where I interact and co-operate with every department to make sure the business first maintains its market position and also grows in the future.

What were you doing before?
I worked at Le Royal Meridien Phuket Yacht Club as Sales, Convention, Incentive and PR Manager.

Where are you from?
I'm a Phuketian.

What’s special / different about Twinpalms Phuket?
Twinpalms Phuket is better than the rest – something you realise once you experience it. We're near one of Phuket's most beautiful beaches – Surin Beach. We have the most luxurious accommodation with full facilities, a swimming pool with a spacious garden environment and a spa that is the ultimate in relaxation.

Then, ‘Catch Beach Club’, the venue for Phuket’s most talked-about parties, is an inventive, style-setting beach club, perfect for those who love fashion, fun and a fabulous seaside dining and party setting.

Also we offer signature restaurants and bar areas – Bake, Pasta, Flame and Sushi – that attract not only the hotel guests, but in-the-know local residents as well. They've all become 'expat destinations'.

Tell us something about your role in the business?
To lead the organisation, working directly with the board of management to map out the group's future with strategic direction and planning.

What are the main challenges?
As I plan and implement the company's long-term goals, the main challenges are to maintain our market position and make sure that we achieve our goals smoothly.

…and what are the biggest difficulties?
The economic crisis that has affected every business segment world-wide.

What is your main target market?
As we're a luxury hotel brand, we focus on a variety of customer groups whose lifestyle matches our concept. We target customers who are in their early 20s to mid-50s, in the mid-to upper-income brackets.

What do you like most about what you do now?
I like being involved in developing strategies for everything from sales and marketing to human resources, as well as the challenge of being part of a team responsible for business growth.

What do you and Twinpalms Phuket hope to achieve within the next 3-5 years?
We plan to grow the brand aggressively over the next three years, increasing the number of Twinpalms hotels to two or three by 2016. We expect to be one of the most successful and most talked-about small luxury hotel brands and anticipate being approached by resorts ripe for conversion into Twinpalms branded resorts.

What are your biggest successes to date?
Achieving a faster rate of growth and greater success than other similar businesses.

To what extent does the current global financial mess affect your business?
This has affected almost every business in the world and this time it's worse than before as the economic downturn is expected to last longer than previous recessions. For sure it has affected the tourism industry but that just means we have to adapt and look for new, less affected, markets. We cope with the situation by adopting a different strategy.

Is Twinpalms Phuket involved in any CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programmes? If so, please outline briefly.
We have a 'public cleaning' day every week, when our staff help to clean the public areas outside the hotel property, helping keep the beach and the park clean and tidy.

We also join government-initiated festivals, such as Children's Day, participating and providing resources for activities.

What is your over-riding ambition at this stage in your life?
To run the business successfully by achieving the highest goals that we set and to make sure that it we not only maintain our market position, but see it continue to grow.

For further information about Twinpalms Phuket
106/46 Moo 3, Surin Beach, Cherngtalay, Phuket
Tel +66 76 316 500