By Benjamin Krieg,General Manager, Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20
On behalf of the Hospitality and Tourism (H&T) committee I am pleased to provide an update on what has been a very busy year for not only our Sub Committee but also for AUSTCHAM in both events and activities, as well as we have some exciting updates our advocacy and collaborative initiatives recently achieved.
Our most recent event welcomed the a Keynote Speaker from Google, Mr Pulkit Lambah who works as a Senior Account Manager for the APAC Travel team at Google in Singapore, the topic was ‘Google and how they can assist Tourism businesses to grow their market share’. The event was so well attended it was in fact a sell-out, and all feedback received was incredibly positive. In May we organised another event with the banking and financial sector on ‘Leveraging new and emerging Payment methods in your business’ where we welcomed speakers from Paypal, Visa, Ticketmelon, Agoda and DollarSmart.
We have plans for one more event before the end of this year and are working on securing this exciting guest speaker, these events ensure our members have the ability to hear from key leaders within the industry throughout each year. We always welcome suggestions from members as to speakers or topics of interest, and look forward to seeing you at our next event.
Some of our members may be aware of AUSTCHAM’s recent collaboration with other key Chambers of commerce, which has culminated in the Foreign Chambers Alliance (FCA) comprising of Australian, American, German and British chambers of commerce. We are very proud that the first formal activity undertaken by the FCA was the signing of a MOU with TCEB (Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau) ‘To promote cooperation and collaboration, contributing to trade promotion through MICE platform between FCA Members and TCEB’
We have had several meetings with our H&T members from all participating chambers as well as key representatives from TCEB in the past few months. In early August we held our first strategic meeting with TCEB leadership since the signing of the MOU, setting the roadmap and key priorities for the next 12 months. We are confident that agreement will serve as a long term mutually beneficial partnership, and significantly benefit our H&T Members and the overall MICE and Tourism sector of Thailand.
In parallel with the MOU signing, many of you would have recently completed our online survey, which we have had over 60 of key MICE hotels in Thailand complete. This survey comprised of around 20 questions on overall demand and market conditions, feeder markets, competitive challenges, and areas of suggested improvement and government assistance. We are currently in the midst of finalising the survey results into a report for our members review, as well as formally submitting them to TCEB and the newly appointed Minister for Tourism very soon.
We look forward to a busy end of the year for the Hospitality and Tourism committee, and look forward to seeing you at our next AUSTCHAM event.
Benjamin Krieg is the General Manager of Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 and Area General Manager for Accor Thailand – Midscale & Economy Hotels. Having served on the AUSTCHAM Board of Directors for 3 years, and recently appointed as a Vice President. He has been within the leadership of the Hospitality and Tourism sub committee, as well as the social and membership committee at AUSTCHAM, and also serves on the board of TICA (Thailand Incentive Convention Association) where he is a Co-Chairperson of the Marketing Committee