A perfect balance

The Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc is perfectly suited for groups seeking a seamless integration of work and entertainment

Tailor-making international events and adding a personal touch with a dose of local flavour are winning ingredients to lure business travellers to the shores of Phu Quoc in Vietnam.

The opening of a raft of major international hotel brands in the last few years, coupled with a rise in the bleisure trend, have positioned Phu Quoc and its bounty of white beaches and growing attractions as a leader in Vietnam’s business travel landscape.

Sao Beach (pictured) is located at the southern end of Phu Quoc

One of the island’s most recent players, Regent Phu Quoc, opened its doors in April 2022 and has noted an uptick in demand for small international groups seeking to host luxury events. In response, the property has curated a series of packages that can be tailored to groups’ individual needs.

These include sailing out to the hidden bays and untouched islands of Phu Quoc on Serenity, Regent Phu Quoc’s private catamaran, and visiting the Regent Taste Studio, an interactive dining experience featuring talent from the fields of art, fashion and food.

This trend sits in line with the predictions included in Amex’s 2023 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, which saw small meetings and events increase by 25 per cent, with an increased desire for unique experiences.

In addition, the report noted an increase in industry demand regarding sustainability, with more organisations seeking destinations that promote sustainability and sustainably certified venues.

This is an element the luxury InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is incorporating into activities, and sees as a key component when it comes to attracting international events, whether large or small.

Bastien Pucheu, cluster director of sales and marketing at both properties, told TTGmice that the InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort offers CSR activities that can be incorporated meaningfully into any event.

Regent Taste Studio is a multisensory experience focused around arts and culinary artists

He added that “traditional teambuilding activities and the implementation of sustainability actions, such as reduction of electricity consumption and single usage plastic”, were also created.

Regardless of the size of the event, Pucheu pointed out that “personalisation is key, and is our main motto at both properties”.

The continued development of the island is also throwing it at the forefront of Vietnam’s business travel offerings. In addition to hotels well-equipped with conference and meeting facilities, other attractions are opening.

For example in April 2021, Vingroup opened the Phu Quoc United Centre Entertainment and Resort Complex.

The integrated resort offers a range of accommodations ranging from the Vinpearl Resort & Spa Phu Quoc to the Sheraton Phu Quoc Resort; Vietnam’s largest theme park VinWonders Phu Quoc; 18-hole Vinpearl Golf; and Grand World Shopping Town; and five-star business events facilities at Vinpearl Convention Centre.

Vietnamese cuisine is an attraction in itself

It is also extremely easy to visit. As part of the Vietnamese government incentives to draw more international business to the island, visitors of all nationalities can enter on a 30-day free visa.

Winston Gong, general manager of Crowne Plaza Phu Quoc Starbay, said the property is also tapping into the personalisation trend, offering tailored events and a series of curated incentive packages.

In addition, it is making itself and its services more accessible to key markets by strengthening marketing and promotional activities.

“We are increasing visibility and brand recognition by intensifying promotional activities on prominent digital platforms that are popular in target markets,” said Gong.

“Our team does extensive research and identifies potential target markets to learn about their needs, insights, and expectations when looking for event venues.”

He added that incorporating popular elements of local culture into meetings and events helps make packages more attractive to international markets.

Gong noted: “Local cuisine, for example, is a great attraction. Authentic Vietnamese dishes, complemented with traditional dishes from delegates’ home countries, help ease them into their activities.”

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