Representatives from TCEB, TAT and the Thai government officially launch the Isan Indulgence program
Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau‘s (TCEB) most recent familiarisation trip to Bangkok and Khon Kaen was dedicated to promoting Thailand’s five MICE cities – Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen – and showing the group how safe the destination is.
The four day trip, that started with Thai Airways flights into Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, included two nights at The Intercontinental, a spa treatment at M Spa at The Four Seasons, rooftop drinks Octave Bar and dinner at District Grill Room and Bar at The Marriott, lunch a the Grand Hyatt’s Erawan Tea Room and dinner one of Thailand’s best restaurants, Issaya Siamese Club.
The group then travelled to Khon Kaen in Thailand’s North East, known more commonly as Isan, for a one night stay at Centara Khon Kaen, lunch in the in-house Ju Fang Chinese restaurant, a city tour including a blessing at a local temple, a visit to the museum and a demonstration of local weaving, dance and music, followed by a welcome ceremony and a traditional North Eastern dinner.
Khon Kaen is currently emerging as a key MICE city as it connects by road and air with Southern China making it an ideal choice for organisers dealing with Southern Chinese clients.
Upon return Bangkok, the group enjoyed a Thai food station lunch at The Peninsula Hotel and stayed at Anantara Riverside Resort and Spa (formerly Marriott – currently undergoing renovations to the North Tower). The group ate at the in-house Benihana Japanese teppanyaki restaurant and visited the new Asiatique shopping and bar precinct to see the new Muay Thai ‘The Legend Lives On’ live dance show.
The upshot is this: the military coup is over and the curfews have lifted but martial law is still in place for the time being. Travel insurers still won’t cover travel to Thailand but because the industry is suffering from the loss of so much MICE business, there are some incredible offers and incentives in place for those who do book as individual or group travellers.
The destination certainly seems safe – safer than ever, if that’s even possible considering how placid and accommodating Thai people are – the hotel, restaurant and spa product is world class and Bangkok is easier to get around than ever now that it has the Sky Train.
As one of Australia’s key outbound destinations, now is the time to support a country that needs help. Spice will keep you posted on changes to the travel insurance situation so stay tuned.