Laguna Phuket beefs up events


Laguna Phuket, which already plays host to several public events each year, such as the Laguna Phuket International Marathon, the Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest and the Summer Family Festival (SFF), is to lure more visitors.

It staged the Phuket International Blues Rock Festival for the first time in February, drawing some 1,800 party-goers over two nights, an achievement that Debbie Dionysius, assistant vice president-destination marketing, believes will cement the integrated resort’s reputation as a premier event venue.

Laguna Phuket has also been growing the scale of its popular SFF, which began in 2009 as a “simple two-month platform of entertainment during our low season months…with the aim of boosting activities on offer and our visitor numbers”, said Dionysius.
While most of the festival activities are held at the Canal Village Shopping Centre on resort grounds, families staying at Laguna Phuket’s seven hotels and resorts are also invited to join in various on-site activities.

Armed with 20 per cent more spending budget this year, the SFF, which ran from June 23 to August 25, featured a wider variety of entertainment options and was backed by stronger local and international promotions. Event highlights included Art Adventure art classes, free Zumba fitness sessions twice a week, entertainment by strolling performers from the Palazzo dinner theatre and thematic parties. A Beer Tent and Kidz Fun Zone were also carved out of the festive grounds, with the former keeping adults occupied with televised sporting events, weekly quiz nights and happy hour drinks, and the latter appealing to young children with cooking classes, golf excursions and sports.

Dionysius noted that the activities were always well attended. She said: “The entertainment programme at the festival in July and August drew hundreds of hotel guests and local residents, but it is difficult to ascertain numbers as there were different events staged throughout the duration and each event had attracted varying numbers. Our themed parties that opened and closed the SFF, as well as another one held midway through the (festive) period, were very well attended, with our hotels that provided F&B reporting great revenue figures every night.”

She added that Australia has been a leading source market for Laguna Phuket’s properties during the SFF months, “as schools there are on holiday and families seek a destination that is within easy reach and offers good value family entertainment”.

Although the success of the festival has helped to boost hotel occupancy during the traditional low season months, Dionysius told TTG Asia that room rates were maintained. “In fact, the benefits offered to families (during the SFF), such as free dining for children and tour offers, make staying with us for the festival an increasingly attractive proposition,” she said.

“We are also looking to host regular events at Xana (the new beach club within Angsana Laguna Phuket) and will debut a three-day Oktoberfest this year,” she added. “We want to make it as authentic as possible. We will be working with a German brewery and bringing in a real German band. We will also develop a special package for corporate groups.”

Beyond boosting visitor interest with a busy event calender, Laguna Phuket is mapping out hardware improvements that will appeal to the leisure segment. As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations last month, it unveiled a new design concept for an integrated development on a parcel of land overlooking one of its west-facing beachfront lagoons, between the Laguna Beach Resort and Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket. It will feature a hotel, luxury condominiums, a water park and space for up to 1,000 shops and restaurants. There are also plans to leverage on Latitude, the integrated resort’s standalone event marquee, to provide more activity space especially during wet weather.

This article was first published in TTG Asia, September 7, 2012 on page 19. To read more, please view our digital edition or click here to subscribe.

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