3:01 pm - Sunday April 13, 2014

GM Talk: Scott Toon GM Paresa Resort Phuket

Scott Toon GM Paresa Resort

First of all, can you give a small introduction about yourself please

Certainly, I’m a New Zealander who has been living here in Thailand for two and a half years, and loving every moment of it. I studied hotel management whilst in New Zealand, but eventually travelled overseas to Australia, Asia and places like the Maldives and Malaysia, before ending up here in the best part of the world, Thailand. Paresa is my first work placement in Thailand, I joined before the resort was completed so was here for the pre-opening phase and was heavily involved in setting up and preparing, getting the team together and finally launching the property. We are now into our second year and for me it has been a great experience, and is a great place to be. We have stunning views and a top class team here, so I am more than happy with my situation.

What made you choose a career in the hotel industry?

What really attracted me to the industry were the lifestyle and the interaction with so many different people. I was lucky enough to travel from a young age and spent a lot of time flying around and staying in hotels. I gained such an attraction to the hotels in which I stayed I decided that would be my career path.

Do you personally feel that it is important, in a role like yours, to experience work at the bottom of the ladder?

Very much so, it gives you a good grounding to know what happens right on the front line, and I think most people have worked their way up through different areas of the hotel to become a General Manager. From my point of view, I’ve seen different areas; I’ve worked in the kitchen and in food and beverage, as well as wait on tables. This is as well as working in human resources prior to coming back to operations and managing a resort.

Scott Toon GM Paresa Resort

Can you tell us about the concept of the Paresa Resort?

Well the concept is the heaven of all heavens. Paresa has stunning views and the colour of the sea water here is very unique. The owner who developed this beautiful resort saw this beautiful land and sea and believed it looked like heaven, and that is where the concept of the heaven of all heavens came from. They wanted to create a place where the villas felt like home, with great big open spaces, lots of privacy, beautiful swimming pools, all complemented with stunning views over the ocean. All of these factors were so important when developing this unique property, with views from all the villas, in this beautiful location surrounded by trees and bushes. This is along with our angels. All of our team are angels, they’re here to guide and look after you. That completes the heaven of all heavens

And how about your location?

It’s absolutely fantastic here on the point of Kamala on millionaire’s mile. We have no other hotels around us, we just have this beautiful native Thai bush and beautiful big Banyan trees. Luckily we managed to keep these and incorporate them into some of the buildings; we also built some of the buildings around the beautiful trees which were here originally. We wanted to immerse the resort in this wonderful area and make it a unique retreat. We’re much retreated here, with the stunning sea views and natural Thai bush, no noisy tuk tuks, it’s a very peaceful, relaxed hideaway style resort.

How do you see the situation here in Phuket with regards to tourist numbers and has it had any affect on the resort?

We have actually grown and built over the past 2 years. Yes it’s probably not the best time to be opening a new resort in the current economic climate, but for us, we have done very well considering the current market. We are happy with our position and will continue to build our market and increase our number of guests. The climate has affected the way we thought we could market the resort and has affected the way in which we thought we could be growing the business, but luckily as we are a new resort we have been able to adapt quickly to the current situation. Being an independent brand makes it a lot harder in times of an economic crisis as many tour agents are cutting back on properties and not really taking on new properties and unknown brands like us. The first year was very much about looking at new markets and those markets have certainly helped us grow. However, we are starting to see the old markets come back and many of them are coming to Paresa wanting to market us which is very good.

Scott Toon GM Paresa Resort

Can you tell us about your marketing strategy?

For us we look at the markets which are coming into Phuket and focus on those markets. Some of the traditional markets are very quiet at the moment so we are staying away from those. We are looking at new markets and developing our brand in those where we are able to get more attraction and more guests coming through and experiencing the Paresa brand. It’s really a lot to do with selecting certain markets for certain times of the year and slotting them all together to give bookings all year round. Our guests now are coming from all around the world. We have guests from America, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia, Australia is a very good market at present and we think they will be a strong market for the coming seasons.

What for you is the most difficult part of your job?

Definitely at the present time it’s getting new guests. So much of my time now is taken up with sales and marketing. Previously I spent more time in operations and other area. But nowadays the hardest part is working with the sales and marketing team to develop and build the business. We are now doing a lot of travelling to meet new agents and operators to get Paresa out there so everybody knows about it.

Why would you tell readers to choose Paresa above all other resorts here on the island?

Primarily it’s because of the stunning location. There is no where else where every villa offers magnificent sunsets and sea views. Everywhere you go here, whether it’s the cooking school, the spa, the restaurants you are surrounded by great views. We are a luxury hideaway retreat offering great food, whether it is Italian or Thai, in a peaceful relaxed atmosphere.

Do you have a personal goal you still wish to achieve, either work related or personal and if so what is it?

A golf handicap would be good or even just a day away at the gold course would be great. But I think really developing Paresa into a fantastic brand is going to be a great challenge for the next couple of years. We hope we can have more Paresa’s popping up around Thailand in the future, so that is the main challenge that we have ahead of us. We would like to thank Scott for taking time out and allowing us to interview him.

Paresa

49 Moo 6 Layi-Nakalay Road, Kamala, Kathu, Phuket 83150 Thailand

Tel: +66 (0) 76 302 000 Fax: +66 (0) 76 302 001 E-mail: info@paresaresorts.com



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