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Pattaya Daily News

27 April 2009 :: 14:04:25 pm 24312

Royal cliff reels under the impact of the ignominious ASEAN fiasco

Pattaya prestigious Royal Cliff Beach Resort, a venue fit for a king, suffered a body blow with the recent red-shirted provoked mayhem, on April 11, 2009, which forced the premier to evacuate his 14 high-ranking guests, leaders of ASEAN, from the recent ASEAN Summit Conference in a move reminiscent of the US evacuation of Saigon at the culmination of the Vietnam War.
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The Royal Cliff Beach Resort founding hotelier and MD, Mrs. Panga Vathanakul, had apparently seen the opportunity to host the 14th ASEAN Summit Conference at the resort as a chance in a lifetime to mutually enhance the standing of the resort and the global prestige of Pattaya as a whole.

The Royal Cliff was chosen as an alternative venue for the summit as Phuket, the original venue, didn’t have the capacity to cope with the estimated 1,500 delegates expected. The Royal Cliff, on the other hand, is a five-star complex of four hotels-in-one, with a capacity of 1,090 rooms and most importantly, the Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall, able to cater to 8,000 guests.

The hotelier reports that the resort and its staff had pulled out all the stops to prepare for the prestigious event. Nothing was too much trouble for the honoured leaders of Japan, China, Korea and Australia, along with ASEAN’S 10 core members. Their rooms were decked out sumptuously with the best of Thai floral arrangements and a Thai cuisine-menu was prepared, fit for a king.

The lavish preparations, however, largely went to waste, along with the succulent menu, most of the food being eaten by the security forces, after eventually ushering out the hundreds of red-shirted protestors, who had totally disrupted the summit.

As if the consequent loss of face wasn?t enough, Mrs. Panga Vathanakul imminent bookings have now evaporated, like melted snow. She plaintively complained:

“Our guests have all disappeared. We have received cancellations from across the world. Those who had bookings have cancelled. Those who had planned to visit have vanished”.

The damage to the resort complex is approximately Bt14.4 million, including material damage and cancelled bookings, and Mrs Panga apparently fully intends to recoup these losses by resorting to the full facilities of the law. However, the damage wrought to the resort?s international reputation is incalculable and will take far longer to regain.

The riotous assembly won’t impact on the staff, however, none of whom will be laid off and the resort is now fully operational again. All that now needs to be done is for all the government and tourist PR agencies concerned to do their utmost to restore not only the Royal Cliff reputation, but that of Pattaya, itself. We wish them the best of luck in their endeavours.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Tourism News

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