Impact Publications : MiceBTN_61
Page 46 • MICEBTN - NovEMBEr 2015 PHUKET - THAILAND Phuket prospering as a C&I destination WHILE its popularity as a laid-back lifestyle destination is well deserved, Phuket now also has a growing repu- tation for conferences and incentive groups. Planners should look beyond the myriad bars and restaurants – although most clients will definitely visit some – to Phuket’s high-end infrastructure and to the area’s many other attractions. There is also a diverse calendar of events with potential to be worked into a C&I visit. One worth considering for next year is Thai Food Identity, organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) under its Thailand International Food Festival banner. TAT is renowned for its work in not only promoting culinary tourism – like several other Asian destinations such as the Philippines and Malaysia – but spreading the message to Thai restau- rants world wide that they are ambas- sadors for their homeland. Thai Food Identity, running from September 1-30 2016 will enhance the restaurant, café and street stall eating experience with demonstrations and other offerings, along with many tast- ing opportunities. C&I visitors have a wealth of other activities on offer including the island’s beaches and water activities, cultur- al shows, shopping (from branded boutiques to bargain street stalls), encounters with Thai elephants and visits to nearby islands or further afield to Krabi. Lagoon swimming and activities such as those offered by Angsana Laguna Phuket are a pleasing alterna- tive to coastal beaches. At this resort a free-form pool meanders for more FOR many visitors Phuket is the sole or principal destination of choice in Thailand, but the island has always been popu- lar in a combination with Bangkok and other areas such as Chiang Mai and Samui. Bangkok Airways recently gave Phuket a further boost as a major point on the national air network by launching a daily return service between Phuket and Hat Yai. The carrier has long been a key player in Phuket’s travel industry, with eight daily flights from Bangkok, four between Phuket and Samui, one to Chiang Mai and one which links Phuket to Pattaya via U-tapao airport. Company president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth said Bangkok Airways sees the Phuket/Hat Yai flights as having Phuket coastline, photo Tourism Authority of Thailand Celebrating the start of the Phuket/Hat Yai service New daily air link for Phuket/Hat Yai than 320 metres, complemented by extensive parklands. Angsana Laguna Phuket, set on Bang Tao Bay in the northwest, is one of the leaders among those attracting C&I traffic, featuring 11 indoor meeting venues and four outdoor areas suitable for groups. Poolside garden, Angsana Laguna Phuket Historic Phuket, photo TAT solid potential for development, both for business and leisure travel.