innovative meeting rooms

By Suchat Sritama
The Nation
Published on April 30, 2009

The Grand Hyatt Erawan

The Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok has carved out a space for the world's first innovative hotel meeting rooms, called "The Campus", to regain some of the lost meeting and conference business.

"The economic slowdown is a business cycle and we intend to emerge from this challenge. This provides us the opportunity to be more strategic, to enhance customer satisfaction and to pursue new business opportunities," Richard Greaves, the hotel's general manager, said yesterday.

The hotel spent Bt142.5 million for renovations after closing down its Chinese restaurant and some commercial areas and had prepared a few million baht for the launch.

Greaves said The Campus was world's first innovative meeting facilities located in a hotel. With its university environment, businessmen can feel young and negotiate and learn more about cooperation.

A lecture hall, classroom, Internet caf้, library, and food and beverage corners are already open and a signature restaurant will be unveiled in November.

The centre charges Bt650-Bt1,600 per person depending on the number of guests and length of use. The hotel aims to enhance its position as the leading five star deluxe hotel in Bangkok and to be ranked No 1 in all it facilities

Business travellers are still coming, especially from southeast and southwest Asia, so the hotel would woo customers for the new centre from countries there.

About half of The Campus' business would come from the meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition market, 25 per cent from press conferences and product launches, and 25 per cent from social events and private parties. The new product is being counted on to help revenue to grow 4 per cent per year.

"At the beginning of 2009, we aimed to be realistic in our revenue projection by forecasting 4-per-cent growth. With the recent domestic political challenges, we aim to achieve the same revenue level as in 2008," he said.

The latest disease outbreak, Mexican flu, has not disturbed business yet but the hotel is preparing preventive measures. The hotel was hit by cancellations of five or six business meetings or 250 rooms during the Songkran riots.

"At this point, I believe that the hotel business will recover in the third quarter of this year," he said.

Hyatt Group is dealing with the economic crisis by offering more benefits to guests including up to four room upgrades a year.