Having just returned from our second Asian edition of Connections Luxury events we have the opportunity to reflect on the development of the event and the pleasures in welcoming our guests to the legendary hospitality of Thailand.

Truly the “Land of Smiles” – a superbly appropriate description of Thailand, our first welcome was from a team of immaculate hostesses from Destination Asia to guide us through immigration and baggage reclaim, insistent on taking my suitcase despite the noticeable challenges with its size!

With our welcome complete we looked forward to investigating Phuket and uncovering the cultural delights that we love to introduce to our event delegates. And there were plenty.

Over the course of the next two days our guests were presented the opportunity to sample batik painting, traditional Thai dancing, fruit carving or, for the more flexible among us, Muay Thai boxing! Each of these are designed to provide a memorable moment – our guests will never forget these moments together.

This, however, did not get in the way of the ultimate objective of Connections, building long lasting relationships amongst senior travel executives.

Chinese business is influenced by the theory of “Guanxi” – the importance of relationships before real business opportunities are created – and perhaps Connections is presenting its own twist to the theory. Whichever way you look at it, it works!

All the team can do to help is create the right environment for creative thought, and conversation – with a combination of the DREAM Beach Club and the stunning surroundings of Iniala Beach House we certainly provided the backdrop. With the beauty of the beaches of the Andaman Sea as a backdrop (despite the rather rugged monsoon season) you could not help but feel special and ready to do business.

Finally, no visit to Thailand would be complete without mentioning the delicious cuisine that symbolises Thailand. Our visit to the world-renowned cooking school, The Blue Elephant, allowed our guests to try their hand at some Thai classics, before enjoying the fruits of their labour in the grandiose surroundings of the Governors Mansion.

We would like to thank our friends at the Tourism Authority of Thailand for providing such a welcome to Phuket and know that our guests will leave with a new appreciation of the luxury offer that Thailand has in abundance – we wave goodbye to some new found friends and look forward to returning soon.

Now onto the next event, Connections Luxury in Rio de Janeiro (October 16-19).

Please contact me at [email protected] for any further details.