Thailand, strengthening its MICE leadership position in Asia

11th Aug, 2016

Thailand Convention Bureau & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has taken a step forward in strengthening its position as a hub for business events in Asia by prominently featuring Chiang Rai – the Northernmost Province of Thailand, the origin of Lanna Culture and gateway to greater Mekong sub-region. The Province is strategically located in the Golden Triangle area, enabling business events’ travelers to conveniently connect to the neighboring countries of Laos, Myanmar and China.

Chiang Rai was once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, which boasted a wealth of arts, customs, culture and traditions to explore and enjoy. Some of the Royal projects have become the perfect venues for MICE and incentive activities, giving unique insight into the history of Chiang Rai and the local grassroots Thai communities.

Nopparat, President of TCEB, & Vivian Xu, MIM magazineTCEB has marked Chiang Rai as a vital emerging MICE city which has become quite popular among organisations and corporates from home and aboard who plan meetings and conferences in unique venues. In February this year for instance, Chiang Rai was chosen by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) to be the host venue of the Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart. Other events include the 1st international conference on digital art, media and technology in February 2016, the AEC Tourism Connectivity seminar in March 2016, and the international Balloon Fiesta 2016 in February.

TCEB organised an International Media Familiarization Trip in July to show some of Thailand’s endless innovative experiences for business events travelers. These experiences are based on the kingdom’s distinctive characters and highlight a Fascinating History and Culture; Outdoor Adventures; Team Building; CSR and Green Meetings; Beach Bliss; Lavish Luxury and Culinary Journeys.    

Together with TCEB’s partners - the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Airports of Thailand, Thai Airways, King Power and the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association as well as the provincial authority of Chiang Rai - the press trip was aimed to strengthen Thailand’s leadership position as a premier destination at the heart of the fast-growing ASEAN region.

MIM was lucky enough to be invited and conducted an exclusive interview with Mr Weerasak Kowsurat, Chairman of the Board of TCEB. He said: “TCEB is offering business visitors the Thailand CONNECT Welcome Package until December 2016. The special privileges include a Thailand CONNECT edition BTS pass, the Bangkok MICE Map that covers key MICE venues and attractions in Bangkok, the Thailand CONNECT USB drive card, seven-day free WiFi usage, and a Thailand CONNECT Welcome Package card listing discounts on products and services in Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong areas.”This was specially designed under the country's three fundamental pillars for the MICE industry, namely destination, business, and people, providing business travelers with the essentials to 'connect' businesses in Thailand.

Mr Kowsurat added: “In order to make Thailand a premier global business events destination, it is important to be in line with the government’s policy. Thus, we have initiated the MICE registration in our country, which allows us to sit with our authorities every four months to deliver first-hand information about the growth, trends and obstacles in the MICE industry. The aim is to draw direct attention from the authorities and gain more support from them.”

According to the statistics, business events continued to grow in the first half of the 2016 fiscal year – October 2015 to March 2016, when Thailand welcomed a total 493 384 high quality MICE travelers, generating more than 39 billion baht (US$1 111.27 million) for the Thai economy.

Looking ahead, TCEB forecasts that the marketing initiatives will enable them achieve a five per cent increase in visitors over 2015, welcoming more than one million business travelers and earning the Thai economy a total of 92,000 million baht (approximately US$2.6 billion in the fiscal year 2016).

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