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Mice Asia Net : January 2009
thailand thailand for corporate events Despite the highly reporteD political instability in recent times the Kingdom of thailand remains one of the world’s most exciting destinations for the corporate meetings and incentive travel market. M ajor disruptions to Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport towards the end of 2008 was a shattering blow to Thailand’s end-of-year tourism business, including MICE business. However, with the political unrest apparently now over, the destination is looking forward to 2009 and beyond with renewed enthusiasm, hoping to make up for lost ground. Anybody who has been to Thailand will know that its people are far from confrontational by nature. A look into the not-too-distant past when the Boxing Day tsunami on December 25, 2004, devastated parts of Thailand and the way in which the community banded together to overcome such terrible losses and begin the slow rebuilding process was more akin to the Thailand that visitors have come to know and respect. The recent political instability could very well result in greater business opportunities for destinations beyond Bankgok, particularly for the convention and incentive travel market. Phuket was one of the regions decimated by the tsunami. Since that time it has gone about rebuilding itself not only in terms of bricks and mortar but in what it now offers visitors, and particularly the MICE market. Away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, Phuket is a peaceful destination that continues to be a major drawcard for the corporate meetings and incentives market. Located around 800km south of Bangkok, Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and its most visited. Nestled in the tropical zone off 34 miceAsia.net the west coast of the southern part of Thailand in the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean, the province covers an area of approximately 543 square kilometres. With two distinct seasons – a rainy season (May to October) and a hot season (November to April), Phuket is all about the water, relaxing and enjoying the good things in life. Accommodation ranges from world-class resorts to tropical-style bungalows. Its exceptional venues offer everything the corporate meeting planner could ever dream of, and maybe a little bit more. One of the best for the corporate conference and incentive market is the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa, set on a sprawling 75 acre beachfront site. Located along Karon Beach, the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa is an upscale resort set amidst lush tropical gardens. The property’s 685 spacious guest rooms are spread over three wings and decorated in contemporary Thai style. Every room features an individual balcony with views overlooking the Andaman Sea, the tree-lined hills or the resort gardens. Food lovers can enjoy a range of international and Asian cuisines at the resort’s numerous restaurants, cafes and bars. Guests also have the chance to learn how to prepare exotic Thai cuisine by joining a Thai cooking class. ABOVE: Grand Palace Bangkok. Photo courtesy of The Tourism Authority of Thailand (London).