Royal Cliff Hotels Group has become a prominent destination for
events of all types, but its standing in the sporting arena sets it
apart from its competitors in Thailand's beach city of Pattaya.
This accomplishment can be largely attributed to Vitanart Vathanakul,
the dynamic second-generation CEO who leads the 26-hectare hospitality
landmark. With a deep-rooted love for tennis and a commitment to
fostering a vibrant sports community, Vitanart has transformed Royal
Cliff into a tennis hub.
The group's state-of-the-art sports centre, Fitz Club, boasting seven
top-notch tennis courts, offers unparalleled convenience to players and
their families during tournaments, given its proximity to the group's
four properties – Royal Cliff Beach Hotel, Royal Cliff Beach Terrace,
Royal Cliff Grand Hotel, and Royal Wing Suites & Spa Group.
A grand slam in sporting events
The Fitz Club Tennis Championship, a tournament established by
Vitanart 15 years ago, has become a staple on Royal Cliff’s sporting
events calendar. This year, Vitanart further expanded the sporting
offerings with the inaugural AssetWise Junior Tennis Championship at
Fitz Club, drawing over 200 enthusiastic young players along with 500
spectators in June.
“Our tennis tournaments receive significant advance bookings. They
are always oversubscribed, with some participants even requesting to be
included in the next three tournaments,” he shared.
Additionally, Royal Cliff has been a recurring host of the
International Tennis Federation (ITF) Masters Tennis Championship, a
prestigious tennis tournament for amateur players aged 30 and above.
During the most recent AssetWise Tennis Masters Championship in
November 2022, more than 200 top-level tennis players from around the
world competed in singles, doubles and mixed doubles during the
week-long event, which were jointly hosted by Royal Cliff Hotels Group
and AssetWise. Once again, from November 18 to 24 this year, Royal Cliff
is set to host the highly anticipated ITF Masters tour.
According to ITF, more than 30,000 players worldwide currently
compete in over 500 tournaments worldwide. Vitanart is among them, and
this year, he achieved success on the tennis court by achieving No. 1 in
Thailand for the over 35 men’s division at the ITF World Tennis Master
MICE insights from the tennis court
For Vitanart, tennis is not just a recreational activity; it serves
as a source of physical and mental well-being while instilling valuable
qualities such as tenacity, hard work, professionalism, and integrity –
values that he regularly applies to the hospitality business.
Initially occupied with his responsibilities as a hotel chief,
Vitanart's venture into competitive sports was prompted by a friend's
suggestion. Engaging in the sport enabled him to gain firsthand
knowledge of organising sporting events.
"Participating in various tournaments and experiencing them as a
player allows me to assess an event’s strengths and weaknesses. I use
these insights to improve my own events," he explained.
Participating in various tournaments and experiencing them as a player allows me to assess an event’s strengths and weaknesses. I use these insights to improve my own events.
Vitanart Vathanakul, CEO, Royal Cliff Hotels Group
Beyond the tennis courts, the Royal Cliff Hotels Group has
experienced an encouraging rebound in business, said Vitanart. The
reopening of major markets like China and Japan this year has propelled
the pace of recovery, with India remaining a crucial source market in
"Compared to last year, business from January until now has been much
better, with revenue recovering by 70%," shared Vitanart. "Our average
occupancy ranged between 70% and 80%, and during periods like Songkran
in April, we were fully booked."
International guests, as well as events and festivals, are returning
to Pattaya. Vitanart remarked, "Pattaya is organising a multitude of
interesting events, including festivals, concerts, and sports tourism,
which have significantly contributed to tourism. We engage in
partnerships with many major events happening around Pattaya, and that
has greatly boosted our business."
Recent high-profile events in Pattaya, such as Rolling Loud Thailand,
have also driven increased demand and occupancy at Royal Cliff.
Prominent hip hop stars like Blueface and Swae Lee, along with their
teams, stayed in Royal Cliff's royal suites during the three-day
Furthermore, Royal Cliff remains an enticing destination for
large-scale MICE events. Last November, the Pattaya Exhibition and
Convention Hall (PEACH) hosted the 6th International Conference on
Family Planning, attracting over 3,000 delegates. Similarly, PEACH
welcomed 764 delegates from 44 cities for the Asia Pacific Advertising
Festival (Adfest) in March this year.
"My vision for Royal Cliff is to become a leading destination for holidays, MICE events, sports, and wellness," Vitanart stated.
Source: Travel Weekly Asia