More event planners are taking notice of Cambodia

Pacific Hotel Siem Reap

Cambodia’s growing range of products and greater affordability are making the country an attractive destination for the region’s business events market.

Esther Ng, liaison director of Singapore-based Networks Synergy International, said clients are searching for new destinations to host meetings and events, and Cambodia’s affordability in comparison to South-east Asia’s major business events destinations, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, is planting the country on the radar.

Pacific Hotel Siem Reap

Ng said: “There’s a lot more interest in Cambodia. With some products, there is a big price difference too, of up to 40 per cent, compared with other countries, and there are many new hotels being built for the market.”

This is a trend that Chatora Ath, general manager of Kilat Events, has noticed. She said for many regional companies, Cambodia is ticking all the right boxes, adding she has seen a rise in bookings from businesses based in Singapore and Malaysia.

Ath added: “Cambodia is much more affordable than other popular countries, like Singapore, and today, Cambodia has a lot more accommodation to offer at more affordable prices than Vietnam and Thailand.”

The surge in corporate interest has led to a rise in hotels catering to the sector. Pacific Hotel in Siem Reap, for example, is constructing a conference centre for up to 1,200 pax to add to its current business facilities. It is slated to open before 2019.

Rudy A Cagang Jr, the hotel’s operations manager, noted a rise in enquiries from India and Singapore. “Cambodia’s affordability definitely plays a part in this,” he said.

Coupled with the country’s lower price points is its growing products and quality of facilities. A flurry of international hotel brands like Rosewood have entered and are entering the market, bringing with them new meeting and conference spaces, and more quality production companies and entertainers are helping to bolster the market.

Sinan Thourn, chairman of B2B Cambodia, opined: “Affordability is playing a role in attracting more regional companies. It makes us competitive, especially now when we can offer the same quality of facilities and accommodation as other destinations.”

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