The final networking night in Pattaya for the Australian Chamber of Commerce (AustCham) was held in the mezzanine area above the Hard Rock Cafe. It was one of those legendary cool tropical evenings, for which Pattaya is famous, and all the attendees enjoyed the venue.
With the continued flooding in Bangkok, the number of members and guests were down, but the Pattaya members have been showing their generosity, offering dry housing and business space to the Bangkok people. Kevin Fisher, the MD of CEA mentioning that he had made yard space available to a Bangkok company, and had even given them office space so they could continue. Dylan Counsel, the director of operations of the Pattaya Resort and Spa has some Bangkok businesses now working out of the Marriott, while many other Pattaya locals have made houses and apartments available for flooded out Bangkok families. Even Bangkok Hospital Pattaya has been taking in so many patients from Bangkok that all 400 rooms are filled. Pattaya has the dry facilities.
Which do you like better, Arabica or Robusta, Dylan Counsel, director of operations for the Pattaya Marriott Resort and Spa, asks Michael Chick, general manager of The Coffee Club.
President of AustCham John Anderson (Meinhardt) mentioned that Pattaya is 15 meters above sea level, which is why the Eastern Seaboard does not suffer from catastrophic flooding like Bangkok which is around two meters above only. (For interest, U-Tapao airport is 18 meters above sea level at its lowest point.) The Ocean Marina Harbor Master Scott Finsten adding that the ocean is not going to rise 15 meters, no matter how much water drains into it from the central plains.
The sponsors for the evening were Strategic Airlines and the Hard Rock Hotel itself. Sarinya Holloway, the manager of sales and marketing represented the airline, which was established in 2002. Since 2009 it has been plying the Phuket-Brisbane route. However, this has produced an upsurge in traffic for the fledgling airline and during November it will be rolling out its new corporate identity of Air Australia. Bases are now established in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Darwin, Luxembourg and London.
Chanakarn Lim, office manager for AustCham Thailand and Josh Hyland, communications officer for AustCham Thailand, welcome guests to the Hard Rock.
The airline is a ‘budget’ one, with Sarinya saying Phuket – Brisbane and return is only 21,000 baht. Dr. Iain suggested on Pattaya Mail TV that Air Australia should consider the other resort in Thailand, also starting with the letter P. You can find them at www.flystrategic.com.
The venue sponsor was the Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya, who was represented by Matthew (Matty) Carly, the manager of the Hard Rock Cafe. Matty spoke about the 15 month-long renovations which have been ongoing in the hotel, and how excited the staff are with the re-opening of the main hotel. With 323 new rooms, including the new concept of accommodation for families with children and a revamped Rock-Star Suites, with restaurants, bars and lounges serving Pan Asian cuisine next to Mediterranean fare in a variety of stylish settings. www.hardrock.com.
Ken Brookes, business development technical director for KA Shin, and Damien Kerneis, key account manager for Geodis Wilson Thai, talk about the best way to ship components.
The Australian Chamber has been supplying very quaffable wines, and the Broken Hills red was particularly enjoyable, with more attendees on the wine than the beer (but then it wasn’t VB, Fosters or XXXX). The origin of the Queensland XXXX beer is very interesting (I used to be their medical officer) and the name came from the originator, who was Irish and couldn’t spell beer. (Joke! No need to write in!)
Damien Kerneis, key account manager for Geodis Wilson Thai, and Michael Diamente, managing director of Dana Spicer, debate: beer or wine?
Carey Archer from Gold Coast Web and Scott Finsten from OMYC tuck into the great food put on by Hard Rock.
Mel Hand and Jon Fox from Q Cars Thailand aren’t debating beer and wine, but white and red.
Pierre Fabry from RR Asia and AustCham director David Bell are immersed in deep conversation.
Svetlana, Jum and Nok from Hard Rock Hotel signal their enduring friendship.
Michael Parham, business development manager for Cranes and Equipment Asia, and Gregory Pitt, managing director of Mackenzie Smith Law Firm, chat about the legal issues involved in moving cranes and equipment through the region.
The president and main sponsors (L to R) Sarinya Holloway, sales and marketing manager for Strategic Airlines; AustCham President John Anderson; and Ian Sutedjo, director of sales and marketing for Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya.
(L to R) Sarinrat Tassanachainun, sales and marketing executive for Strategic Airlines; Michael Parham, business development manager for Cranes and Equipment Asia; and Piyawan Suwapap, sales and marketing executive for Strategic Airlines, pose for a group photo after discussing round trip airfare to Oz.