BRAC resorts offer facilities to hold conferences to its entirety

MICE venues emerging, need to attract int’l events

A Monitor Report 01 Oct, 2017  |    -      +
DHAKA : The Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry is an important segment of the tourism industry and is a growing sector with immense potential for Bangladesh.

The MICE industry comprises of the upper-stream, such as activity organisers/hosts; the midstream, such as venue and hospitality service providers, facilities and other service providers; and the downstream, such as logistics service providers, catering, retailers, marketing and promotional service providers etc.

A successful MICE industry is believed to have significant positive impact on a country's economy.

It has been observed that the global demand for the MICE industry has recorded a fast growth since 2009. This growth has been faster than traditional business travel. MICE sector currently shares 54 per cent of the total business travel market.

MICE tourism in Bangladesh is still at its infancy. But of late, some venues of international standard have come up in the last few years for holding MICE events. We could achieve a breakthrough by disseminating information and developing products of international standard.

Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of garments, and other exportable are fast coming up. Organisations related to these exports here have shown the capability of holding large conferences, buyer-seller meets, and exhibitions of various sizes and nature. And the country has all the possibilities of holding MICE events given the existing and upcoming facilities. In the recent past Bangladesh has very successfully hosted a number of international conferences and exhibitions, which shows, we are now well placed to host more such events and activities to boost Bangladesh as a MICE destination.

Venues for hosting MICE activities are one of the most important factors influencing the decision to host such an event. Venues suitable to host MICE events are hotels, conference centres, resorts and exhibition halls of different sizes with requisite facilities.

BRAC CDM Rajendrapur

Two resorts of BRAC Services Ltd (BSL)_ BRAC CDM Rajendrapur and BRAC CDM Savar_ offer not only serenity, away from the din and bustle of the city, but also state-of-the-art conference facilities to hold international conferences and workshops, high-quality accommodation for 320 guests at a time, international-standard beds and amenities in guestrooms and BRAC's own security guards.

The 474 fixed-seat auditorium at BRAC CDM Rajendrapur is soothingly LED-lit and equipped with latest equipment controlled from a control room. The dignitaries can seat on the stage, which is accessible both from within the auditorium and also outside.

There are rooms behind it, which can act as secretariat rooms for conferences or "green room" for celebrities to get ready for cultural events.

The nearby banquet hall can accommodate 250 diners banquet style. Banqueting or exhibitions related to the event can be held at auditorium lobby. There are five conference halls where meetings with participants, ranging from 30 to 90 can be held, or breakout sessions arranged, as per the client's desire.

Teleconferences

Besides two seminar rooms seating 20 persons classroom style, there is a state-of-the-art executive meeting room from where select 14 participants can hold teleconferences with their counterparts in other countries or continents.

Annual General Meetings (AGMs), wedding programmes or outdoor events can be held at the open field which can accommodate 5,000 persons. There are open spaces, say for picnic parties, if needed.

On one side of the meeting and banquet venue, is the two-level coffee shop- ground floor of which is enclosed and first floor is open_ perfect for having coffee or arranging barbecue parties_ and on the other side is the very modern kitchen.

Wide array of international food items can be prepared at the automated kitchen to your liking by internationally-experienced chefs. There is an open space beside the banquet hall, which can be shut off by closing the doors, perfect for small, exclusive parties or dinners or barbeques. For that matter, they have many spaces for barbecues. You just have to tell them and they will arrange it.

The resort has its own water supply and just besides the water tower, are the gyms -one for males and other for females, where yoga mats and bicycles_ for adults as well as children_ are available.

So, if guests have time free, they can watch butterflies at the butterfly enclosure, go boating in the water body on which the buildings are located; swim at the first floor infiniti swimming pool for corporate guests.

The pool is exclusive and the authorities have plans to build another swimming pool for other guests.

There are four gazebos behind the "Mother Building." But be forewarned not to go near or sit in the fourth gazebo, which the monkeys residing in the forest outside the boundary walls feel as an "adda" place of their own.

Some 250 cars can be parked at underground parking while 50 buses above the ground at the resort. There are also innumerable fruit bearing trees and organic farms within the property.

While on week days the facility is devoted corporate houses, BRAC CDM Rajendrapur offers family packages on the weekends. Recently its lush lawns were the venue of Pahela Boishakh celebrations and Boishakhi Mela. The place wore a rural look on the day.

Security at all BSL properties is provided not only by BRAC's own security personnel, but there is also a building within the perimeter which houses Ansar personnel.

If the guests have time, they can visit Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park, the biggest of its kind in the country as well as Bhawal National Park, which are about 10 minutes' drive from the resort.

BRAC CDM at Savar

BRAC CDM Savar at Gagan, a few miles off Hazrat Shahjalal International Air-port, offers similar full-fledged meeting, residential_ 350 guests can be accommodated at a time_ and leisure facilities. The only difference is that seats in the big auditorium here is not fixed and can arranged to the clients' liking, taking the seat number up to 500. There is a VIP space for dignitaries upstairs to follow the proceedings going on in the big auditorium.

There are conference rooms, banquet halls, open decks besides the innumerable meeting rooms. Here are similar facilities for sports and leisure facilities and 1,000 persons can be accommodated in the open field for AGMs, weddings or any kind of outdoor event.

Thirteen events and meetings, big and small, were taking place at BRAC CDM Rajendrapur and a training session conducted by FAO was being held at BRAC CDM Savar on the day we visited the resorts.

The well-lit facilities make both Rajendrapur and Savar hospitality properties look really beautiful at night. Winters are specially more pleasant, we were informed.

The professionalism of the staff members of BRAC Services Ltd (BSL) which manages BRAC CDM Rajendrapur, BRAC CDM Savar, is really praiseworthy as they are very flexible and try their best to meet the clients' particular needs.

BRAC Centre Inn at Mohakhali in the city has been the venue of innumerable conferences, meeting, workshops and countless number of diners have dined at its Shuruchi restaurant.

The three properties offer complimentary room service in rooms and quality room amenities. All of them offer facilities like PA system, digital audio recording, microphone etc along with the venues, but they have to be intimated beforehand.

Industry insiders said, local and international organisations, corporate business houses, service clubs, tour operators should come forward to patronise these types of facilities which will give MICE sector growth in Bangladesh a great boost. They should also enlighten their counterparts across the world that the country has such facilities and entice them, so that they hold their important meetings, conventions and exhibitions in Bangladesh at ease.

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