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Man about town: 09 August 2013

Man about town: 09 August 2013

PUSH TO MARK SIEM REAP AS A CONFERENCE CENTRE
The push is on to promote Siem Reap as one of Southeast Asia’s new conference and convention centres, with many hotels now having superb meeting and conference facilities. And lots of entertainment and pastimes are now laid on in town on for corporate and business visitors – not to mention the allure of the temples.

The Phnom Penh Post will join this push by publishing a special supplement in September promoting Temple Town as a convention centre. This supplement will also be distributed at the ninth International Travel Expo in Ho Chi Minh City from September 12-14 this year. This is the region’s biggest travel event and many Siem Reap travel and tourism personnel attend.

The Expo people have also announced details of the Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards that are an integral part of the show. Deadline for is Friday, August 16, and only companies registered in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam may apply. One winner per country will be awarded for each of the following categories: 5-star hotel of the year; resort hotel of the year; eco-tourism destination of the year; outbound travel operator of the year; inbound travel operator of the year; and airline of the year.

Entry submissions are free and companies can apply in more than one category. Details for the judging criteria are available online, and all registrations will be reviewed by a panel of international judges. Awards’ winners will be announced by the tourism ministers.

The Expo’s press release says, “All entries will be reviewed by an independent panel of international judges nominated by the five tourism ministries. The Awards Night will be held in conjunction with ITE HCMC Grand Opening Ceremony and Gala Dinner, to be held on the September 11, 2013, at White Palace Convention Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

“This major ITE HCMC highlight is attended by dignitaries, important personalities, international and regional hosted buyers, international and regional media, sponsors and exhibitors and invited guests. It is a night of impressive entertainment and guests will be treated to a first class gastronomic experience.

“It is a night everyone looks forward to annually for its grandeur and great networking opportunities.”

THE GLASSHOUSE HEEDS LOCAL CALL
The newly-opened Park Hyatt hotel has shown that it’s certainly sensitive to the needs of the Siem Reap community by revising its original café prices. Expats were grumbling about the steep prices in the hotel’s swish new café, The Glasshouses, where a cappuccino, with taxes loaded on, was priced just above $4.60.

This week the hotel announced that “in response to the market feedback,” prices in the café have been lowered across the board. All coffees and lattes are now $3, pastries in the display case are $3, all sandwiches are $5, all pizzas and quiches are $7, and doughnuts are $1.00

Plus there are no add on taxes to these prices – the hotel says, “These are all net rates, so guests pay only the $3, $5, etc.”

BOUTIQUE HOTEL BOOM
There’s a mushrooming in the construction of boutique hotels in the downtown district. Somedevi Angkor Hotel has for some time now been constructing a boutique hotel behind its main building, and Prince D’Angkor Hotel has been constructing the J7 Hotel near the Royal palace overlooking the Royal Independence Gardens. A website states that the hotel would open in “summer 2012,” but Prince D’Angkor now advises that the hotel will open “next year.” Also a plot of land near Shinta Mani has a hoarding announcing “Knai Bang Chatt.” Presumably this is an offshoot of the much-loved hotel of the same name in Kep, but its management so far has declined to answer queries.

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