Phoenix Voyages appointed travel manager for Myanmar’s first major summit

MYANMAR will pass a significant milestone in June when it hosts its first major summit, the World Economic Forum on East Asia.

Organising the event would not be without its challenges given the country’s lack of MICE experience, said the official travel agent for the conference.

Phoenix Voyages has been appointed the official agent responsible for managing flights, accommodation and transportation for the forum – which runs from June 5-7 and will be attended by 1,200 participants, including 10 heads of state, 12 ministers and 40 senior directors from around the world – and will be working in partnership with PubliscisLive, a Geneva-based media and events agency.

Jean Michel Romon, managing director of Phoenix Voyages, said the challenges of organising the first event of such magnitude in the country were amplified by the lack of infrastructure in the capital, which was only relocated from Yangon to Naypyidaw in 2005.

“We’re very excited (about winning the contract) and very motivated to make this event happen, but it won’t be easy as there’s never been anything like this in Myanmar,” he said.

“The main challenge is manpower. We’ll have more than 50 local staff in Naypyidaw and more than 20 in Yangon, as well as 80 foreign staff who will come over to support the event.

“The capital is also very new, so we’ve had to book more than 24 hotels and will have to send around 80 coaches and cars from Yangon and Mandalay (to transport delegates around the city). In Naypyidaw there are no restaurants so we must arrange everything at the convention centre and in the hotels. Besides the main forum there are more than 20 special events each night.”

To date Phoenix Voyages has scheduled 13 charter flights from Bangkok and Yangon to Naypyidaw. It is also organising a gala dinner to be attended by all participants, and more than 40 side dinners during the first two evenings, which will supported by a 500-strong waiting staff.

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