Reported by Vivian Xu
We have written many times about Thailand as a convention and conference destination, but now, we are learning more about how TCEB is going to promote Thailand as a destination where business travelers can not only experience professional business services, but they can also explore various cities where they can mix business with leisure. Under the theme “CONNECT THAILAND: THE KINGDOM OF BLEISURE”, 3 cities were featured in this trip: Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Bangkok. 35 international media representatives started their Bleisure journey from Pattaya.
A New MICE City
A two-hour drive from Bangkok, Pattaya is located in the province of Chonburi on the east coast of the Thailand Gulf, with a 4 km crescent of coastline decorated by dense palm trees, soft white sand, and boundless sea and sky. Pattaya, the country’s favorite seaside resort, offers a variety of accommodation: stunning meeting venues, restaurants fit in all tastes, and entertainment and shopping options. In the near future, Pattaya will benefit from the upcoming mega project, in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), located in its neighborhood. Key infrastructure projects will be launched in order to enhance connectivity and business activities, in this area, such as upgrading the U-Tapao airport and the Laem Chabang Seaport, high speed eastern rail route development, highways and motorways expansion, and others. Recognized as one of Thailand’s new leading MICE cities, Pattaya is home to a world-class multipurpose convention facility, myriad meeting venues, and a wealth of seaside attractions.
Recently, Pattaya has become a favorite city of business travelers. I was amazed by a wide range of selections of high-end class hotels. We checked into the Hilton Pattaya, our first hotel. I was definitely charmed by the compact design of the hotel, a perfect mix of natural color and modern art. The outdoor infinity pool was set amidst landscaped gardens with a relaxation area that provided a panoramic ocean view. Hilton Pattaya features two floors of facilities that incorporate flexible meeting space with natural light, a business center, secretarial services, state-of-the-art sound and vision technology. The Stunning Ballroom is a signature meeting area in the hotel, with a surface of 640 m²/6,889 sq. ft, decorated with shining crystal chandelies. WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
A Royal Heritage Meeting Destination
The official launching of Pattaya – Hua Hin Royal Ferry Services, in January 2017, was the country’s first gulf crossing ferry service that linked South Pattaya to Hua Hin. Thanks to the ferry service, the duration of the trip from Pattaya and Hua Hin was reduced from a 5 hour bus ride to a 2 hour ferry ride.
Hua Hin is known, domestically, as the royal heritage beach resort favored by the King of Thailand for its quiet beaches and comforting climate. Since the 1980s, many luxury hotels began to move in, and foreign travelers began to explore the city.
The media representative group was hosted by Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa which was newly opened in March 2016. This Resort features 322 guest rooms hat combine modern design and Thai Colonial features. The resort is equipped with 8 event rooms. The largest Paksa Swan Ballroom can host up to 250 delegates. The lagoon shaped swimming pool loops around the resort. Cutting edge amenities and a family-friendly water park are also available. Of course, direct access to the calm seaside beach from the hotel is within a 3 minute walk to the resort, a real plus.
I also liked the Radisson Blu Resort Hua Hin, with its breath-taking open view from the lobby of the free-form infinity pools, followed by the vast white-sandy beach with a view of the endless sea and sky. The Resort provides 118 stylish rooms and suites that boast the sea, pool or garden views. Each room is equipped with high speed WiFi ready for business use. The AQUA Ballroom accommodates up to 240 delegates, incorporates full-length windows, and provide a beautiful view of tropical surroundings as well as natural daylight. The ballroom also includes a versatile foyer where you can host pre-function events.
The World Top MICE Destination
As the trip came to an end, we have a chance to taste the capital of Thailand, the hub of MICE Industry in Thailand, the gateway to Asia – Bangkok. The city offers abundant options of convention and meeting venues, luxurious hotels, fashionable shopping centers, and fine dining and exotic entertainments. The new alliance named “Siam Synergy” (led by “MBK PCL.”, “Siam Piwat Co., Ltd.,” and the “Siam Square Business Group”) has launched and implemented various projects in order to accomplish the concept of “The Metropolis of Diverse Modernity”. An improvement and expansion of the sky walk are in process in order to connect major attractions and business venues. Moreover, the security standard, in the Siam district, has been lifted. More importantly, a uniform security standard for the entire area will be established. TCEB will strengthen Bangkok as a key economic and business center, as well as a global diversified fashion and lifestyle hub; This will be achieved by enhancing competitiveness in the MICE sector on the domestic and world stage.
During the 2016 fiscal year, the MICE industry in Thailand welcomed a total of 1,273,465 international MICE and Events visitors which contributed total revenue of USD 2,941 million. Meeting sector is the largest sector which generated USD 669.85 million and was followed by the Events sector with USD 622.82 million. In the 2017 fiscal year, TCEB is targeted to reach the economic contribution from the MICE industry for USD 3,050 million by welcoming 1,109,000 MICE visitors without including total revenue and visitors of the Events sector.
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.