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Artist's representation of how the Laguna Phuket Latitude will look

Laguna Latitude to Compete for Phuket MICE

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
LAGUNA Phuket has lifted the covers off its MICE marquee, a concrete-floored adaptable space that is ''capable of hosting a wide variety of meetings and incentive programs, conferences, gala dinners and other events in a spectacular tropical waterside setting.''

Latitude will be the name for the venue, to be completed by mid-year, probably at the cost of some trees, in the wooded glade opposite the Canal Shopping Village.

For years Laguna has made do with a teporary marquee that served all kinds of useful purposes, most notably on loan to local authorities in Phang Nga immediately after the 2004 tsunami.

The new ''all-weather, fully air-conditioned stand-alone facility capable of accommodating up to 1000 guests theatre style, 800 for cocktails, and 600 for a banquet'' puts the island's premier destination resort in more serious contention for the MICE market.

Phuket simply does not have enough infrastructure yet to bid for many of these events, although the market is solid and growing.

Few destinations in South-East Asia can compete with Phuket for its wide range of beaches, reefs, stunning vistas and extra-curricular activities.

Managing Director Michael Ayling hopes to now be able to attract exhibitions and concerts.

''The possibilities to stage unique MICE events at Latitude will be endless - from memorable delegate arrivals using the network of waterways from our hotels, to incorporating spectacular Phuket sunsets as backdrops to a presentation,'' he said in a media release.

Planning for a better Laguna Phuket venue for MICE has been underway for more than two years.

Laguna's offering will probably be measured against adaptable space at Central Festival and Royal Phuket Marina, currently hosts to most exhibitions, and competing resorts, including the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa at Karon in southern Phuket.

More direct access to Phang Nga and the northern province's reefs and national parks could sometimes work to Laguna's advantage in the north of the island.
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The graphic shows a type of tree that is not in evidence at Laguna Phuket at the moment. How many of the existing trees are to be destroyed for this project? And there's no mention of the kind of space that would have to be cleared to create parking for 1000 people attending a local function. Laguna used to boast that cutting down a single tree required all kinds of internal approval processes. Bit by bit, the parkland created from the tin mine wasteland is being covered in concrete . . . laguna is rapidly going under, just like the rest of Phuket. So much for MICE. What about the environment? And the elephants. Where will they go?

Posted by Angelfire on March 3, 2010 09:17

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