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Navigating the Future of Phuket’s Tourism and Hospitality: Insights from C9 Hotelworks’ Bill Barnett

In an enlightening interview with Bill Barnett, Founder & CEO of C9 Hotelworks, we delve into the evolving landscape of Phuket’s tourism and hospitality sector, exploring sustainability, market trends, and future outlook for 2024.

In an exclusive interview with TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific, Bill Barnett, the visionary behind C9 Hotelworks, sheds light on the current state and future prospects of Phuket‘s tourism and hospitality industry. Barnett, known for his expertise in the field, offers a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

C9 Hotelworks: Pioneers in Hospitality Advisory

C9 Hotelworks, as described by Barnett, is a boutique advisory group specializing in hospitality and real estate. They are instrumental from the inception of projects, advising owners on strategic development and operational efficiencies. With a footprint across Asia and experience in over 11 countries, C9 Hotelworks brings a wealth of regional insights to the table.

Sustainability: A Three-Pronged Approach

Barnett addresses the multi-dimensional aspect of sustainability in Phuket’s tourism. Financially, the region is experiencing a new cycle of growth post-COVID, with upscale hotels reporting higher room rates and profits. Environmentally, there’s still progress to be made. Barnett emphasizes the economic sense of sustainable practices, such as energy-efficient designs and farm-to-table initiatives in reducing costs and enhancing value.

The Future Landscape of Phuket’s Hospitality Industry

Regarding upcoming developments, Barnett reveals that about 15,000 new hotel rooms are in Phuket’s pipeline. He highlights the need for infrastructure development to accommodate the growing tourism and resident population. Barnett also points to a trend towards smaller, more segmented hotel spaces, catering to the evolving preferences of travelers seeking longer stays and higher-quality amenities.

Investment and Real Estate Development

Barnett advises potential investors to adopt a long-term perspective, noting the rise in land prices and the resurgence of bank lending for new projects. He stresses the importance of distinctive, well-managed properties in standing out in the competitive market. The conversation also touches on Phuket’s evolution from purely a tourism destination to a community-driven locale, attracting a diverse international demographic seeking quality of life.

A Vision for Sustainable Development

In conclusion, Barnett advocates for sustainable development practices in real estate, emphasizing the necessity for green spaces and human-scale projects. He underscores the role of the private sector in leading these initiatives, crafting environments that balance economic viability with ecological responsibility.

Bill Barnett’s insights offer a valuable perspective for travel and hospitality professionals, highlighting the need for adaptive strategies, sustainability, and quality-focused development in shaping the future of Phuket’s tourism and hospitality landscape.

David Barrett
Managing Director - DBC Asia

David Barrett is a MICE Consultant, Marketing Strategist and digital video advocate. Founder of DBC Group, Member of Institute of Place Management (MIMP) his motto is “Everybody has a story to tell. Let me tell yours.”

David is a long-term resident of Bangkok having lived and worked in the Thai capital for more than 32 years. He is recognised in the Thai tourism and hospitality industry for his passion for promoting Thailand, his love of Thai food, and his creative approach to marketing.

64 years young, David is a Brit in Bangkok. Born in St Helier, UK, he returned to the UK and set up home in Cornwall during the COVID pandemic. With business back as usual, David has returned to Thailand. He’s a man on a mission to interview leaders and trend-setters in business, sustainability, the arts and entertainment. You can watch his weekly conversations on Trends YouTube channel.