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Thailand Names 'Hua-Hin' As Its 'Luxury MICE' Destination To The World

TCEB Conducts “Connection Plus 2011”to Endlessly Inspire Success
With a ‘Chic & Charming’ MICE Destination.

Successfully positioning the Thai MICE industry on the world stage, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, (TCEB), recently announced “Hua Hin” as one of the five carefully selected luxurious destinations, in its latest MICE marketing initiative, especially designed for untapped niche markets. This is in parallel with the bureau’s ‘Connection Plus 2011’ program. Boasting sparkling beaches and an energetic vision, Hua Hin truly embodies its status as one of the country’s favorite beachside destinations by royalty and members of the Thai elite, as well as offering first class infrastructure and accommodation. TCEB is confident the new ‘Luxury MICE’ campaign will help add 15-20 per cent growth to the overall MICE industry in Thailand, or an equivalent of 129 million USD in 2011.

Hua Hin, among other selected cities including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Samui, promises to provide a truly captivating experience, high standards and unspoiled natural landscapes. Known today for its quiet beaches, quaint towns and charming heritage, Hua Hin’s infrastructure and accommodation is some of the best in Thailand. Hua Hin boasts more than 11,000 hotel rooms, with venues for business events that can accommodate up to 5,000 guests. The town is conveniently located just two and a half hours drive from Bangkok. Hua Hin also boasts an airport, which is served by a growing domestic network.

Mr. Akapol Sorasuchart, president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, revealed at the Connection Plus 2011 that, “Thailand’s MICE industry has offered endless possibilities and inspired success for both business and leisure travelers for a long time. In 2011, the country turned another page in its service history by lifting its status and moving into the luxury destinations category. This shift was due to an adjustment in global trends; in 2011, the global meetings industry will see a gradual shift to high-end meetings. Thailand is in the position to offer luxurious destinations and services for a reasonable and competitive price.”

Despite the global financial crisis and domestic political situation, Thailand has outshone competitors with its leadership position as ASEAN’s top trade fair destination for five consecutive years, according to market research conducted by UFI in 2010. This is partially thanks to positive factors including increasing foreign confidence, which was boosted by the government-backed project ‘Believe in Thailand’ in order to assure the readiness of all Thai MICE stakeholders. Since the launch of campaign, the bureau has noticed an upwards trend in the Thai MICE industry recovery. It also foresees a paradigm shift in luxurious MICE activities, which resulted in the introduction of the exciting ‘LUXURY MICE’ campaign in 2011.

At the Connection Plus 2011 Familiarization Trip, all participating delegates will receive first-hand experience of sophisticated LUXURY MICE offering including the luxurious accommodation, award-winning MICE facilities, as well as five stars attractions. In addition, more than 150 delegates will join hands in a Corporate Social Responsibility program to raise awareness of the importance of education by helping to build a sustainable clay classroom for a local school and underprivileged students in Hua Hin, Prachuab Kirikhan Province. The innovative initiatives and activities have been carefully selected to highlight Hua Hin as a world-class MICE destination in Thailand and an alternative to an already well-established city such as Bangkok.

In 2010, Thailand’s MICE industry enjoyed overall growth of 15 per cent year-on-year, with more than 679,585 MICE visitors from around the world. This year, TCEB expects to welcome 720,000 MICE visitors to Thailand, generating 1.9 billion USD in revenues. “Along with the Thailand’s readiness and award-winning facilities, we are confident that the brand new initiative will help us to achieve our targets for 2011 and exceed the ‘LUXURY MICE’ expectations of all our visitors. This campaign also reflects our commitment to further the Thai MICE industry as a whole and to leverage our capacity to meet international demands, and to promote ASEAN as the world’s most preferred MICE destination,” Mr. Akapol added.

Hua Hin is one of Thailand’s most celebrated beach resort towns, frequented by Thai Royals and elite members of society, and situated approximately 200 kilometers south of Bangkok. Located in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, visitors to Hua Hin can enjoy a wealth of satellite attractions, luxurious accommodation and award-winning facilities. The prestigious city also plays host to the full-time residence of His Majesty the King of Thailand. In addition, Thailand recently revealed its candidature of Ayutthaya as the site for World Expo 2020. Thailand’s proposed theme for the 2020 Expo is “Redefine Globalization: Balanced Life, Sustainable Living.”

About Connection Plus Program

Connection Plus is Thailand’s flagship annual familiarization trip presenting the best resources and exciting new developments for staging quality meetings and incentives trip in Thailand. Each year, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) qualify executives of internationally recognized corporations, and industry media representatives and invite them to join its annual Connection Plus Program. Each year, the Bureau will identify key destinations within Thailand to showcase to the visiting delegates. Not only would the delegates learn about new products and gain insight into new trends through seminar and meetings with private sector, they would enjoy special privilege for their companies when they return to Thailand to organize MICE activities.

About Hua-Hin
Situated on the west coast off the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin became the resorts of the royalty and the elite in the 1920s, when the railway line from Bangkok to Hua Hin was constructed, followed by the Klai Kang Won Palace. Until today, Hua Hin enjoys the reputation as a prestigious resort where the Royal Family still visits for extended stays, hence placing both Hua Hing as elite destination, characteristic of serenity, safety and security. Hua Hin is very accessible as it is only some 200 kms south of Bangkok and driving time takes only about 2.5 hours. For MICE infrastructure, it has developed at a different momentum. Hua Hin is more vibrant and has more sophisticated facilities. Several leading chains such as Sheraton, Hyatt, Hilton, Intercontinental and the local resort group like Centara and Dusit – are now in Hua Hin. Those are well equipped with elegant room, well-appointed meeting facilities as well as the luxury spa.
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