Pattaya, 9 December 2010 (PDN): With the plans to expand the U-tapao Pattaya International Airport expected to be complete within 2013, the Eastern Seaboard hotel and resort operators have their sights firmly on the International Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibition (MICE) Industry.
Mr. Somsak Tonruengsri, general manager of the Marriot Resort & Spa Hotel revealed that they had invested more than 41 million baht to upgrade 82 of their 200 rooms and will be welcoming their high season guests without any increase in room rates.
Business from corporate groups had increased by 30% and the hotel was planning to target these areas with the advantage of being close to the Eastern Seaboard industrial parks together with the city’s tourist attractions.
Moreover, around mid 2011, the Marriot hotel will be expanding its operations in Rayong into a beach residence and hotel with 300 rooms. When the U-tapao Pattaya International Airport is completed within the next 3 years, the Marriot’s project will be ready for service simultaneously.
Mr. Fillip Derlaloy, General Manager of the Pull Man Pattaya Isawan Hotel stated that new developments were planned for the beginning of January with rate increases of up to 10%. In addition MICE groups now accounted for 18% of business, with many Korean and Hong Kong corporate clients organizing seminars and bonus trips for their clients through agencies in Thailand.
Mr. Somkid Tonsaiphet, General Manager of The Sign Hotel General Manager, stated that during the last 3-4 months, Korean seminar groups accounted for 70% of all foreign guests with leisure groups now only at 50% of the total. Room rates for 2011 are planned to be increased by 5 – 10%
The Anchaleewiwat group, the Sign Hotel and seven other Pattaya hotel owners are preparing to invest in expanding the old 400 Garden Sea View rooms by building 140 new rooms and upgrading the hotel to 5-star status in an attempt to support the corporate and high-end groups. It is hoped the expanded U-tapao Pattaya International will take advantage of being closer to Pattaya than Suwannabhumee Airport as Russian groups had already discovered.
Mr. Chairat Trairattanaphorn, Chairman of the Rayong Tourism Business Association remarked that the area attracted 4.5 million Thai and 500,000 foreign tourists, with 50% of Scandinavian, Germans, and Russians investing in long stay residences and also the likes of Logan’s villages to operate businesses. This had increased the foreign tourist populations. Also Rayong is situated conveniently for the route to Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City.