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Starwood kicks off MICE campaign for Thai hotels
Karen Yue, Singapore, February 3, 2012
STARWOOD Asia-Pacific Hotels & Resorts has rolled out a campaign to rebuild MICE business at its Thailand properties after the floods.
Although none of Starwood’s properties in the destination was damaged by Bangkok’s floods which swept in late October, business was affected, as visitors gave the destination a wide berth.
In an earlier interview with Alison Taylor, Starwood Asia-Pacific vice president of sales, TTG Asia e-Daily was told that the flood had inflicted a “much greater” impact on Starwood properties in Bangkok, compared to properties outside the city. By early December, more than 100 group bookings were cancelled or postponed across 16 Starwood properties, said Taylor.
The Unbeatable Spirit of Thailand campaign will see Starwood properties in Bangkok and selected ones elsewhere in the country offering a meeting deal that includes a 10 per cent discount off the master bill and complimentary value-adds. The deal is valid till March 31.
The hotel group will also organise Starwood Expos in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok on March 7, 12 and 15 respectively to showcase 19 hotels across Thailand. Further, a group of top 10 clients from Malaysia and Singapore will be hosted at the expo in Thailand and site inspections in Bangkok.
The campaign comes on top of several trade and media familiarisation trips hosted by Starwood and Thai Airways International Australia since last December to boost visitor confidence.
Taylor said: “We are confident that business will resume as it has always been for the case of Thailand.”
Regional vice president, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, Wayne Buckingham, pointed to the inaugural Thailand Golf Championships from December 15-18 as an Illustration of Thailand’s resilience. The event, where four Starwood properties were joint hospitality partners, attracted more than 15,000 spectators, of which 15 per cent were tourists.
“The success of the tournament, which took place soon after the floods, was testament to Thailand’s resilience as an events destination and also to Starwood’s strong support of the Thai MICE industry. Thailand has so much to offer to meeting planners and this makes it an evergreen MICE destination.  With the crisis behind us and with the hospitality and tourism sector doing all it can to regain visitor confidence, I am positive that it will not be long before we see visitor numbers going up again.”
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