Chiang Mai resort aims to lead Mice shift
RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort, a luxury 75-room boutique resort, has hooked up with the Preferred Hotel Group (PHG) international marketing group as Chiang Mai attempts to tackle its room glut by targeting the Mice sector.
As a member of PHG, the new one-billion-baht resort will be integrated into PHG's global marketing network for promoting hotels and attracting high-end tourists. The US-based PHG has five brands and its 650 affiliated hotels in 75 countries have more than 115,000 guests. It also has global sales offices in 28 cities.
According to RatiLanna general manager Vorapong Muchaotai, PHG would help RatiLanna reach its key markets: leisure visitors from Europe, North America and the Middle East and the international meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (Mice) market.
Located on the Ping River in the heart of Chiang Mai, RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort is currently offering deluxe rooms from 5,400 baht per night, half the regular quoted rate.
Mr Vorapong, who is also deputy president of the Chiang Mai Tourism Association, said the association and Chiang Mai's public sector were trying to attract local and global corporate clients by offering low prices for Mice activities in the northern province.
The association has partnered with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and the Thailand Incentive Convention and Exhibition Association (TICA) to invite 100 foreign and Thai Mice operators to see Chiang Mai's readiness for the Mice industry.
It will also participate in the Incentive Travel & Conventions Meeting Asia in Bangkok in October, an event for more than 500 Mice operators worldwide.
Mr Vorapong said Chiang Mai was desperate to focus more on the Mice market because of a substantial room oversupply that has kept average hotel below 50% for the past three years. According to the Chiang Mai Tourism Association, while tourist arrivals rose an average of 7% annually from 2005-07, the same period saw a double-digit increase in the number of hotel rooms.
Tourism and Sports Ministry figures showed 20,816 hotel rooms in Chiang Mai at the end of 2007, compared with 16,673 in 2005. However, revenue from tourism fell to 39 billion baht in 2007 from 40 billion in 2006 and an average of 45 billion baht from 2001 to 2005.
While Chiang Mai attracted 5.59 million visitors in 2006 _ a rise of 39% from 2005 _ this was mainly driven by the Royal Flora exhibition and the figure fell 4.4% in 2007 to 5.35 million.