At a recent event at Banyan The Resort Hua Hin, general managers from 15 different hotels in the region came together for an informal (yet informative) night of dining, drinking, and socializing. The event was organized by Khun Sirirat Murphy, the general manager from Banyan, to give an opportunity for all four- and five-star hotel general managers from Hua Hin and Cha Am to meet each other and exchange ideas on how to benefit Hua Hin as a community, and how to make the region a more successful tourism destination.
The event took place at the Splash Pool Bar, and was well attended with 15 general managers joining together and enjoying an evening of casual social interaction – and barbequing. Modeled after the resort’s weekly “Meating and Fishing” dinner, attendees were responsible for grilling their own meat (chicken, beef, lamb or seafood) at several barbeque stations that flanked the dining tables.
This led to some fun interactions that wouldn’t normally take place at a sit down dinner. Two of the most talked about subjects were ASEAN, and the changing tourist profile in the region. In regard to ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), discussion centered around how the agreement between the 10 participating countries will help with obtaining work permits to bring in workers from other countries to work in the local hospitality industry. In regard to the changing tourist profile, it was argued that as a whole, hoteliers are still mainly marketing to the European market, when in fact the largest growth segment is Asia – particularly China. There is a distinct difference in marketing strategies, and those who are adjusting to this shift now are better positioned for success.