FOLLOWING successes in catering to group series, Sukosol Hotels has started to train its sights on business events, says a representative of the Thai-based chain.
‚ÄúOur MICE focus for now is on China, as it is the largest international source market for the group. We had a 60 per cent increment in overall Chinese business last year,‚ÄĚ said Tan Yuewu, assistant sales manager with the flagship property, The Sukosol Bangkok, who also leads the group‚Äôs sales efforts in China.
Recognising that Sukosol Hotels ‚Äúlacks a brand presence‚ÄĚ in China‚Äôs MICE sector, Tan said the team would have to conduct sales calls and sales missions, and step up participation in Chinese MICE trade shows to do well.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve met several MICE clients in China and realise that while our facilities are on par with some international business hotels in Thailand, we tend to lose out because few have heard of us. Intensive face-to-face sales meetings in China will hopefully raise clients‚Äô awareness of the Sukosol brand,‚ÄĚ said Tan.
Tan pointed out that the group has ready hardware to support business events from China and other markets.
‚ÄúMost of our properties are suitable for business events of different scales. For corporate meetings, The Sukosol Bangkok and Siam Bayshore Pattaya are most suitable due to their range of function rooms and guestroom inventory,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúThe Bayview Pattaya may be smaller (in terms of meeting facilities), but we have been able to cross-sell and combine both Siam Bayshore Pattaya and The Bayview Pattaya for larger corporate groups, ‚ÄĚ said Tan, adding that Sukosol Hotels will augment its Pattaya portfolio with the end-May opening of the 21-key Wave, a luxury art deco boutique hotel.
Tan reckons that the group‚Äôs 39-key The Siam, an all-suite resort in Bangkok‚Äôs historical Dusit district, will also attract small-sized, deep-pocketed incentive groups, although the property currently draws mostly holiday-makers.
‚ÄúWe are making good headway so far, with five MICE groups from China now in the bag. They are from Shanghai, Beijing and Yunnan. The start of the year is usually slow for business events, so we expect bookings to pick up as we move into the year,‚ÄĚ he said.
There are, however, no plans yet to establish a sales office in China, according to Tan.