Thailand has launched a new initiative intended to boost its share of the global MICE market.
The new ‘Thailand Connect’ campaign, which was unveiled this week by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), will offer a range of incentives for meeting planners who decide to hold their event in Thailand.
TCEB said the campaign will focus on three main areas, Firstly, it will play on the range of destinations on offer, identifying five ‘MICE cities’ – Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen – which combine to offer more than 222,000m² of exhibition space. Secondly it plans to take advantage of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which comes into force in 2015, creating more cross-border business opportunities between the ASEAN member states. Finally, TCEB is playing on the concept of Thailand’s hospitality and service standards.
The real hook for meeting planners however, is likely to be “financial support” TCEB said it would offer to event organisers, in the form of special MICE packages.
Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, TCEB’s president, said he hoped the Thailand Connect campaign would help the country achieve a 2014 target of 987,000 international MICE visitors, generating revenues of THB96.9 billion (US$3.1bn). If achieved, this would mark respective growth of 5% and 10% compared to the projected figures for 2013.
“The key word here is ‘connect’. We believe that Thailand can connect extremely well with global buyers by offering a combined package of three unique selling propositions,” Nopparat said.
Last year Thailand welcomed more than 993,000 MICE visitors – 319,000 for conventions, 248,000 for incentives, 238,000 for corporate meetings and 189,000 for exhibitions.