Starwood to drive Thailand recovery efforts

STARWOOD Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts will kick off a recovery initiative for Thailand by January next year to recoup business lost during the recent flood crisis.

Details of the recovery initiative were not available at press time, but Alison Taylor, Starwood’s vice president, sales, Asia-Pacific, said its structure would be similar to the group’s successful MICE recovery campaign in Japan, which has so far garnered more than US$6 million in meetings-related sales for its 15 properties there (TTG Asia e-Daily, November 22).

Fam trips for MICE buyers and MICE-specific promotions, including discounts of up to 30 per cent off the master account, were offered as part of the Japan recovery efforts. About 90 per cent of the event bookings reeled in were from Asia-Pacific, while enquiries from farther afield have started to stream in.

According to Taylor, over a hundred group bookings across the 16 Starwood properties in Thailand were cancelled or postponed due to the floods.

“As in other hotels across the industry, occupancy at Starwood properties, especially in Bangkok, fell following the floods,” she said. “The impact is much greater for Starwood properties in Bangkok compared to properties outside of the city.”

“However, we are confident that business will resume, as has always been the case for Thailand,” she added.

Taylor said clients considering Thailand could continue to rely on Starwood because of the group’s ability to “seamlessly relocate them elsewhere should something happen, as we have many properties in other nearby destinations such as Malaysia, Singapore and Bali”.

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