Name: Ms Temsiri Kidchob
Position title: Group Director of MICE Operations
Company name: Centara Hotels & Resorts
When and why did you join the industry?
In March 1989 and it was my personal intention to work in a hotel business. I like its unique atmosphere and the lively hotel lobby scenes. I spent 2 years in an institute of hospitality after my graduation from a university, the faculty of law, in Thailand.
Eventually I know that giving services to people is my basic instinct.
What do you like most about your job?
* Being in diverse situations every morning when stepping in the hotel
* Working with unpredictable people, and incredibly some of them become friends for life
* Conquering tough jobs which make customers/guests/associates happy at the end
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
Working in the hotel business, being the General Manager of Centra Government Complex Hotel & Convention Centre is supposed to be the biggest achievement, but it is not.
My achievement is counted on a success of the events, especially when it is an international convention organized by a group of committees, delegates from all over the world, complex scientific programs, plus social programs and big-sized exhibition. This kind of event normally takes years for preparations. Therefore, we should bear in mind that the organizing committees and team have worked intensively and been so dedicated prior to the event which will take place only 3-5 days.
The hotel and its staff play a very important role in making the event the utmost successful and memorable one.
One of my proudest jobs is to serve the 122nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Related Meetings and The Spring Session of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments during 27 March – 1 April 2010 at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. It was the toughest event in terms of its context, plus the political crisis in Bangkok at that time. We received compliments from IPU working team from Geneva that the Bangkok event was one of the smoothest meetings they have ever held.
As a convention hotel, when any conference ends with everyone’s satisfaction, it is always counted as an achievement in my opinion.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
“We alone are going to endeavour further to the utmost of our ability; we are going to strive like a man should to reach the shores of the ocean.”
From The story of MAHAJANAKA by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
It is not a particular person but it is a group of people from diverse organizations who were dedicated and have made Thailand to be a dynamic MICE destination until today. Look back over 20 years ago, key people from TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand), TICA (Thailand Incentive and Convention Association), Thai Airways, major convention hotels and key DMC and PCO worked closely and tried their best to create awareness of Thailand as a destination for conventions & incentives. These people lead me to see big opportunity and being a part of bringing this business to the country.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
This is a tough question. Since there are over 60 Centara Hotels & Resorts in Thailand and overseas, to define one characteristic of Centara might not be able to cover all aspects. However, one thing for sure, all visitors will feel ‘comfortable’ when they step in our hotels and resorts. You might be used to walk into a hotel which made you feel so small and not breathable due to its composition of architecture, decorations and uniforms.
Centara brings you more simplicity, but still offers all services you may need. You feel free to walk around and to talk to our staff whenever you need assistance with no tense.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
* Catch aurora in Iceland
* Watch a symphony orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel in Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles
* Learn how to weave Thai silk in Ubon Ratchathani Thailand
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
My memorable travel experiences mostly come from people, no matter if it is good or bad. I recently travelled to Nakornpanom, a province in the northeast of Thailand. It is a very ordinary place. But with the great view of Khong River, clean air and welcoming local people, these make this place to be a very significant destination for me, which I will go back again and again.
The other way round, I visited Eze in France last summer. It is a gorgeous town with stunning Mediterranean Ocean view. Unfortunately, the inhabitants are so cold and faded my smile away. I will not go back there for sure.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
1. IPAD containing music and e-books
2. Swimming suit
3. Foldable shopping bag
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
Yo Yo Ma, the cellist, and I would like to travel wherever he performs. He is going to Munich in January 2016.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
‘MICE’ industry is my definition herein. For Meetings and Incentives, these businesses will remain, but size, frequency and budget might slightly drop. Exhibition will grow in diverse forms of topics and products. People are always curious to know and to experience new technology, new products and new creativities.
For Convention, which I was wondering in the past couple of years, whether it would survive in the next 5 years. Is it worth to spend quite a lot of money for air ticket, accommodation, convention registration fee if we get nothing new back home? Plus there is no place safe for anyone due to the terrorism. Moreover, we by now have a connection through the Cloud, why do people travel across the world just to attend 2-3 day convention?
Until I had a chance to attend the One Young World Summit held in Bangkok during 19-21 November 2015 at Centara Grand at CentralWorld, even though I did not follow the whole program, sitting in the conference, walking in the exhibition, observing the activities, I saw how enthusiastic people are when having interactive communications. And then my confidence in this business is back. I trust that the convention market will exist as long as people love meeting people. Teleconferences, webinars, journals online might be solutions for lower costs. People somehow will seek for opportunity to meet in person and share information, knowledge and anything that they think worthwhile.
However, I believe the format of holding a convention will change. People will focus more on content rather than spending time and money for food and beverages or other fancy things. Therefore, hotels and related businesses should be well prepared, review strategies and provide facilities and services that go along with the new trend of convention market.
Temsiri Kidchob, Group Director of MICE Operations, Centara Hotels & Resorts