Thailand ramps up MICE strategy

According to a report from the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), a public organisation aimed at promoting meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions, Thailand hosted a total of 7,382 MICE events, an increase in 6.84% from 2011.

The report also stated that the average length of stay for overseas MICE visitors was 5.54 days, with an average contribution of US$536 or Baht 16,084 per person per stay.

The figures for international meetings represent the most important MICE subsector, with a share of 33 % of the total MICE industry, followed by corporate meetings and incentive travel,  said Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, president, TCEB.

Although international exhibitions currently represent only 18% of the total Thai MICE industry, this subsector has major potential for further growth in the future, according to a comparative study done across Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan and Australia, said Maythaveekulchai.

With Asia representing 65% of all overseas MICE visitors to Thailand and being a key to the Thai MICE sector’s future growth, he tells Marketing Events that going ahead, the country is looking to the East to ramp up its MICE revenue.

Thailand Connect Campaign

In line with these goals, TCEB has launched a campaign, titled Thailand Connect,  aimed at integrating the three pillars of Destination, Business and People to reach out to MICE operators from ASEAN as well as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, China and India.

Through this campaign, TCEB is aiming to pay higher attention to the expansion of networking and making alliance with all counterparts domestically and internationally.

The campaign will focus on three core areas of Thai MICE industry, which includes: Diversity of destinations, unrivalled business opportunities and high quality professionals.

“Together with the Thailand CONNECT campaign, the bureau will also launch “The Signature,” the latest advertising campaign, reflecting the philosophy of promoting business cooperation, both within Thailand and across the Asian region and successful business agreement. The campaign incorporates a number of exciting market promotion packages to support MICE business success under the Thailand CONNECT Exclusive scheme,” Maythaveekulchai said.

Destinations, People and Business

Maythaveekulchai explains the strategy.

Firstly, he mentioned destinations –  For meetings and incentive travel groups, TCEB will offer financial support of Baht 200,000 for events with more than 200 participants. Participants must stay at least five nights in Thailand, including an overnight stay in at least one other province apart from the main meeting location.

TCEB will also offer promotional support for events from these markets including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, India, Taiwan and China (including Hong Kong and Macau).

For international exhibitions, TCEB will also offer special support for business matching activities for trade visitor groups of 15 or more delegates from ASEAN +6 and BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand) countries, who are travelling to attend TCEB-supported international events in Thailand.

To qualify for special support of US$150 per person, the groups must stay a minimum of three days, two nights, with at least 45 business matching appointments. Each participant will need at least three business matchmaking appointments; for groups with less than 45 appointments in total, the level of support will be US$100 per person.

“Our plan is to focus on this market in accordance to the global economic crisis and the global trend about the expansion of the short-haul travel,” Maythaveekulchai added.

Besides expanding its presence in foreign MICE markets, it is also looking to promote domestic MICE capabilities in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community, a bloc to transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital by 2015.

With this marketing strategy in place, TCEB is hoping that the domestic MICE industry will draw in around 940,000 MICE travellers in 2013 for which 88,000 million baht can be generated into Thailand.

“We aim to be the forefront of Asia’s business events market and become the first port of call for those looking for the vibrant opportunities in Asia that drive to the global success,” Maythaveekulchai added.

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