If home is where the heart is then home is right here, in Phuket, an island that is hard not to fall in love with and hard to leave behind. So hard, in fact, that many of us refuse to do it, decide to stay and call Phuket home. We asked a few of them, long-term Phuket residents, what they wish for Phuket for this coming year 2019. Here’s what they told us:
Daniel Meury – General Manager at Andara Resort & Villas
As we welcome another year, let’s all be thankful that we are blessed to live on such a wonderful island in peace and harmony; other parts of the world are not always so fortunate. My New Year wish is that we all take a moment to reflect that this naturally beautiful Island won’t stay like this forever if we don’t learn to love and respect our home environment. If we all do whatever little we can, whether it’s helping to keep the beaches clean or not using unnecessary disposable items like plastic drinking straws, it will all help. This way we can make sure that this beautiful tropical island we are so lucky to call home will remain just as beautiful in the future too.
Susanne (Sue) Ultmann – Baan Rim Pa Group
I chose Phuket to be my home over 20 years ago. Since then I’ve seen it change – for the better, and less so. Back in the day, there weren’t many cars or motorbikes and only two traffic lights; there were also hardly any accidents. Instead of plastic bottles, there were glass ones and rubber tree plantations covered the island. It took 45 minutes to get from Rawai to the airport on a single-lane road. Entertainment meant going to the beach, there wasn’t much else. Access to Western food was limited, we waited for people to visit or send “care-packages” with what we missed from home.
Today we have wide roads and underpasses; we also have traffic jams and deadly accidents. An abundance of shopping centers, entertainment and restaurants attract a diverse range of tourists, which is good for Phuket’s growth, but it also means we will have to keep putting up with overdevelopment.
That said, I still love Phuket and hope I’ll be able to call it home for a long time to come.
Philipp Graf von Hardenberg – President & CEO at Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort
For all Phuketians and our guests, I wish for Healthy Bodies, Balanced Minds and a Good Hearts in 2019! For me, these are the main ingredients for Happiness! Let us live, work and play together in fairness, harmony and with positive intentions. 2019 must be the year, where we focus even more on the beauty of life and to preserve Phuket’s stunning nature.
Sii Eawsakul – luxuryhunt.com
The end of the year is time for reflection, and to think back on where we are and how we got here. It’s the time to embrace the changes that have happened, and it’s time to plan for a better tomorrow. 2018 saw the establishment of PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism) event and I am proud to see the Phuket Hotels Association shines the spotlight on this issue. As we go into 2019, I wish for everyone who calls Phuket home to prioritize people, planet, and Phuket for a greener future for the island. Happy holidays.
Nicolas Monges – General Manager at Asia RendezVous
When I arrived in Phuket 10 years ago, I was struck by the Island’s beauty and the kindness of its people. Then, due to mass tourism, I started observing radical changes.
Which is why I wish for a Phuket to develop in a way that’s sustainable in a long run. I wish it many prosperous years of targeting high-end tourism while trying to limit the impact of those millions of arrivals. I wish for Phuket to remain this amazingly beautiful island with crystal blue waters on which you can go yachting twelve months per year. I wish for the Phuketians to remain the lovely, welcoming people that they’ve always been for me. I’m thankful that they let me stay here and build the life that I’ve always wanted. And last but not least, I wish many years of happiness, good laughs, great health and success to all my Phuket friends.
Raisa Sheludkina – Railand Property
My wish for Phuket is not just for 2019 but for a good few upcoming years. It’s because it’s about a long-term perspective and sustainable development.
From my position in the real estate industry I see plenty of new projects coming up in Phuket, what I don’t always see is some kind of a bigger idea, a master plan. Which is why I wish Phuket more harmony in its development, more planning and organization, more attention to detail and quality and most of all, more beautiful designs. Architecture defines a place and directly influences the way we feel about it and the way it’s perceived from outside. I wish for Phuket to be rich in beautiful architecture.
Russell Stainer – General Manager at Dream Beach Club Phuket
This festive season marks three years that I’ve called Phuket my home, and I’ve seen it develop, evolve and gracefully rise up to meet the ebbs and flows of visitors and tourists. I continue to discover new things about this amazing island, from meeting wonderful people who share a love for the lifestyle here to learning more about local culture and customs. Not to mention the incredible range of food and entertainment I can’t get enough of! My wish is to see Phuket continue to embrace visitors with its big heart, finding new and thoughtful ways to make memories for tourists from around the world while protecting and sustaining the beauty and future of this island. It’ll be a team effort, but that’s exactly what Phuketians are great at — cooperating for our greater good! Wishing everyone a year of health, success, joy and many sunny days on the beach!
Maciek Klimowicz – Editor-in-Chief at Real Life Phuket
Phuket for two weeks of a tropical holiday has everything you might wish for – the beach, the food, the fun, the smiles. Phuket long term? It’s great too, but some lacks start showing.
What I personally miss the most in Phuket, is culture. I moved here from Bangkok, and before I lived there, I called a big city in Poland home. Both those places were and still are bursting with arts and culture – film festivals, theatre performances, art exhibitions, live music…you name it.
After a few years in Phuket, I start to miss those more and more. Man does not live by rice, sun, sea and sand alone. An occasional trip to Bangkok for a concert does not suffice. Which is why I wish for more culture in Phuket, beyond food culture or local culture. A movie festival on the beach would be spectacular, a music festival, or at least a concert of some A-list international artists – a dream come.
All the best in 2019 Phuket, may it be a fun one!