MICE

‘We are expecting MICE traffic to grow at over 30% from India’

Leading Asian hospitality group Dusit International showcased its Thai hotels and resorts to key travel trade and meetings, incentive travel, convention and exhibition (MICE) companies in New Delhi and Mumbai recently.

Leading Asian hospitality group Dusit International showcased its Thai hotels and resorts to key travel trade and meetings, incentive travel, convention and exhibition (MICE) companies in New Delhi and Mumbai recently.

Dusit International, which has over 60 years experience in the hotel and hospitality field, showcased 10 of its Thai properties to about 60 Destination Management Companies (DMC) and tour operators at the three-day event. Dusit International, which sees India as a “key and fast growing market”, intends to strengtheing their brand with the help of travel trade partners and MICE organizers.

In this interview with India Tourism Review, Sahim Salim spoke with Jurairat Sirisambhand, Group Director of Sales and Marketing, Global Sales Office,
Dusit International, to understand about Dusit International and its Thai properties that specialize in MICE. Sirisambhand tells us about the incentives they have launched for DMCs who will bring them MICE traffic from India. She also talks about the major points of concerns raised by Indian corporates in organizing a MICE trip and how Dusit plans to overcome them.

International
recently showcased its Thai hotels and resorts to key MICE companies in New
Delhi and Mumbai. Can you tell us more about these functions? Where were these
functions held and how many MICE companies attended the event?

Between 28 – 30 August 2012, Dusit International held its first property
showcases in New Delhi and Mumbai. These functions were held at The Leela
Palace Kempinski in New Delhi and the Sofitel Luxury Hotel Mumbai BKC. The
support of the Royal Thai Embassy and TAT offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, added
a valuable dimension to the Thai hospitality tradition that is the essence of
the Dusit brand.

10 Dusit properties in Thailand, including the Dusit
International Corporate Office, Dusit Thani Bangkok, Dusit Thani Pattaya, Dusit
Thani Laguna Phuket and Dusit Island Resort Chaing Rai were showcased at
the events in Delhi and Mumbai.

About 60 Destination Management Companies (DMC) and tour
operators attended the events.

What kind of interaction
took place at these functions? What response did you receive from Indian MICE
companies?

The Indian market is one of the biggest inbound MICE markets
for Thailand and Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for Indian DMCs.
Dusit International fully understands the importance of raising awareness of
the Dusit brand to MICE organizers and travel trade partners and
we look forward to strengthening the Dusit International brand in this key and
fast growing market. These functions provide good opportunities for marketing
exposure.

We enjoyed a very welcoming and warm response from our
existing and prospective clients with about 60 Destination Management Companies
(DMC) and tour operators in attendance.

Can you tell us about
your Thai properties that specialize in MICE? Also, please tell us about some
of the important facilities your properties have to attract MICE traffic from
India.

All of our properties are able to accommodate MICE events
from 15 persons – 1,200 persons. Dusit Thani Bangkok, for example, has 13
Conference and Banqueting rooms, Dusit Thani Pattaya has 20 Meeting rooms and Banqueting
rooms (11 rooms with natural daylight) and Dusit Thani Hua Hin has 15 Meeting and
Banqueting rooms (7 rooms with natural daylight).

Most Dusit International properties have comprehensive
in-room facilities as well as fully equipped and functional venues that can accommodate
MICE events. We have a very strong service and hospitality culture, which sees
us included among the best known brands in the industry. Many of our properties
are seen as destinations of choice for the increasing discerning India MICE
market.

What kind of MICE
traffic do your Thai properties attract? What are your expectations from the
Indian MICE market after holding these functions?

We host several types of MICE events at our hotels,
including those for the pharmaceutical, electronic and IT industries. We expect
to become a leading MICE venue, attracting and accommodating Indian MICE with
our strong USPs (Unique Selling Points) in the Thai hospitality and services
industry.

We are expecting MICE traffic to grow (at) more than 30% on
Indian MICE business in 2013.

How do you distribute
your MICE products in India? Is the Indian travel trade your main channel of
distribution?

Via our brands’ websites; by co-creating promotions with
major DMCs in India; and via our partnership with Preferred Hotel Group (PHG).

Can you tell us about your partnership with
PHG?

PHG will assist DI establish awareness of DI to the high end
corporate, high end leisure and consortia segments as well as seek exposure to
 luxury travelers.

Can you list some of
the initiatives you have planned to engage the travel trade from India? For
example, training sessions or FAM trips or incentives, etc?

Dusit International will coordinate closely with the Royal
Thai Embassy and Tourism Board of each country to organise familiarity trips
from India to experience our properties.

Dusit International will also coordinate closely with our
official partner, PHG, as well as airline companies in these and other
promotional activities.

Talk to us about your
marketing strategy to attract MICE traffic from India.

We have launched a promotion of exclusive USD 500 credit
vouchers to all DMCs who bring MICE business to our hotels within the next six months.

In your interaction
with the trade, you must have learnt some of the major points of concern raised
by Indian corporates for arranging a MICE trip. What are these and how do you
plan to overcome them?

Food was one of the major concerns during our discussions
with major DMCs. Dusit International is responding to this issue by using
professional Indian chefs as appropriate.

Do you foresee any
challenges in tapping the MICE traffic from India?  

Dusit International is very well known in the Indian market for
its high reputation for hospitality and services. We are considered one of the
best hotel chains in the hospitality industry. Pricing is one of the main MICE
market challenges at the moment.

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