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Fifteen Local Youths to be Given a Life Changing Opportunity

October 23, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

Today (21 October 2014), Laguna Phuket launched “Seedlings Phuket” the resort’s latest CSR initiative which aims to provide training and job opportunities for marginalized local youths, and cement Banyan Tree Group’s first social enterprise restaurant in Thailand.

Press Launch 4

from left: Ms. Prae Sunantaraks, Laguna Phuket’s Director of Community Relations; Mr. David Seet, SAVP – Resorts Operations; Dr. Sommai Preechasilp, Former Deputy Phuket Governor; Ms. Claire Chiang, Co-Founder of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts and Chairperson of Banyan Tree Global Foundation; Dr. Prathana Kannaovakun, Dean of the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Prince of Songkla University; Ms. Pattamaporn Rattanadilok Na Phuket, Senior Journalist and News Anchor Channel 11; Mr. Ravi Chandrand, Laguna Phuket’s Managing Director; with Laguna Phuket team and 15 youths (in green t-shirt – except one standing on far right)

The initiative, comprising 18 months of food and beverage skills training and restaurant career mentorship programme, is targeted to realize the resort’s very first social enterprise restaurant and the second outlet under Banyan Tree’s group-wide mentorship programme in 2015, less than two years after the opening of its first edition “Seedlings Hoi An” by Laguna Lăng Cô, Laguna Phuket’s sister destination resort in Vietnam.

The 2-hour press launch event includes programme overview presentation, press launch panel on socially responsible business, event highlights, and Q&A session.

“Fifteen local youths have been selected as the initiative’s first batch to undergo the two-phased programme; starting with a 9-month food & beverage skills training at Banyan Tree Phuket and Angsana Laguna Phuket, followed by another 9-month working experience in actual Seedlings Phuket restaurant,” said Mr. Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket, at the Launch

“We aim to open the Seedlings Phuket restaurant in July 2015 which will be the time the group starts their 2nd phase training,” he concluded.

Mrs. Claire Chiang, Co-Founder of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts and Chairperson of Banyan Tree Global Foundation, is confident that the initiative will change lives, “When Laguna Lăng Cô launched Seedlings Hoi An in 2013, we knew it will serve its purpose as a launching platform for local youth development, providing invaluable vocational skills and experiences that may not be made available for them in other ways,”

Press Launch 3

“To date, Seedlings Hoi An has taken in more than 30 local youths while the restaurant becomes a successful self-sufficient social enterprise. We are very hopeful that Seedlings Phuket will go in the same direction,” she continued,

“We believe in creating values wherever we do business. Banyan Tree is here for 20 years, Laguna is here for 27 years, to us, Phuket is home. That is how important this project has been to us.”

In September 2014, the fifteen local youths in Phuket were selected from over 80 interested applicants. Since then, they have gone through a series of interviews, orientation, and workshops that will prepare them for the actual training programme which started on 20 October 2014.

The curriculum is developed in consultation with the Prince of Songkla University (PSU) to increase skills competitiveness for ASEAN hospitality & service standards.

For more information and to participate in Laguna Phuket CSR initiatives, please visit

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