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TCEB Joins UNWTO To Host Asean Conference On Mice

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The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau or TCEB organises the ASEAN Conference on MICE in Collaboration with UNWTO to enable a dialogue aimed at leveraging knowledge and policy exchange, and driving regional ties towards the mutually beneficial goal of accommodating MICE travellers from around the globe. The bureau is also committed to the 10-Year ASEAN Tourism Strategy (2016- 2025) as a framework to enable sustainable growth, and empower Thailand’s position as a high quality MICE destination.

Mr Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President of TCEB said that, “Promotion of the Thai MICE industry in line with the 20-Year National Strategic Plan (2017-2036) prioritises collaboration among ASEAN member countries and world-leading organisations. Since 2015, TCEB has become as affiliate member of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)to establish connections and be part of a global network, stimulating support for the MICE sector. For the first time in Thailand, the ASEAN Conference on MICE in Collaboration with UNWTO is being held as part of the ASEAN strategy to provide a platform to help raise awareness and showcase the important role the MICE industry plays in the region among ASEAN leaders. The inaugural conference will also provide opportunities for exchange of knowledge and experience, bridging connections and collaboration in ASEAN, especially to improve the quality and standard of infrastructure and facilities to accommodate the needs of MICE travellers from around the globe, right here in Southeast Asia. Additionally, the activity, which will draw more than 270 delegates from public and private organisations as well as MICE operators from across the region, will help promote Thailand as a high quality MICE destination in ASEAN.”

Ms Wiparat Tharateerapab, Director of Government and Corporate Affairs, TCEB, revealed that the vision for The 10-Year ASEAN Tourism Strategy (2016-2025) is “By 2025, ASEAN will be a quality tourism & MICE destination offering a unique, diverse ASEAN experience, and will be committed to responsible, sustainable, inclusive and balanced tourism development, so as to contribute significantly to the socioeconomic well-being of ASEAN people.” To work towards the vision, TCEB has equipped the Thai MICE industry with preparedness in two directions:

1. To Enhance The Competitiveness of ASEAN As A Single MICE Destination by 1) Intensify Promotion And Marketing; 2) Diversify Tourism Products; 3) Attract MICE Investments; 4) Raise Capacity and Capability of Tourism Human Capital; 5) Implement and Expand ASEAN MICE Standards for Facilities, Services And Destinations; 6) Implement and Expand Connectivity and Destination Infrastructure; and 7) Enhance Travel Facilitation

2. To Ensure That ASEAN Tourism Is Sustainable And Inclusive such as 1)Upgrade Local Communities and Public-Private Sector Participation in the Tourism Value Chain; 2) Ensure Safety and Security, Prioritize Protection and Management of Heritage Sites; and 3) Increase Responsiveness to Environmental Protection and Climate Change.

For the first time in Thailand, the ASEAN Conference on MICE in Collaboration with UNWTO is held as part of the ASEAN strategy to provide a platform to help raise awareness and showcase the important role the MICE industry plays in the region among ASEAN leaders. The inaugural conference will also provide opportunities for exchange of knowledge and experience, bridging connections and collaboration in ASEAN, especially to improve the quality and standard of infrastructure and facilities to accommodate the needs of MICE travellers from around the globe, right here in Southeast Asia. Additionally, the activity, which will draw more than 270 delegates from public and private organisations as well as MICE operators from across the region, will help promote Thailand as a high quality MICE destination in ASEAN.

“To drive the MICE sector, TCEB can be beneficial to the ASEAN Strategy’s regional direction of helping identify policy, targets, and strategic directions in line with regional dynamism. Previously, Thailand has worked closely with the ASEAN MICE Working Group in a wide variety of ways, but our proudest moment as a nation was at the 43rd Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers in Manila, the Philippines, where the ASEAN MICE Venue Standard, was included as part of the 10-Year ASEAN Tourism Strategy, and Thailand was appointed to help drive the standardisation. The ASEAN MICE Venue Standard was developed out of the Thailand MICE Venue Standard, which was the world’s first standard dedicated to MICE venues. Moreover, we are looking forward to collaborating to move ASEAN MICE forward, ranging from marketing and promotions, to product and service development, to capability building among MICE professionals. ASEAN member countries have to work together to achieve our mutual goals in each of these areas,” Mr Nopparat concluded.

As host of the World Tourism Day in Thailand on 27-28 September 2016, TCEB cordially invited a top executive from the UNWTO, Mr Xu Jing, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific to provide opening remarks, which underlined that the meetings industry in the last several decades helped speed up growth of the global tourism sector effectively, while stimulating the world economy through job creation, revenue generation, and investments. Moreover, the meetings industry also helped encourage travel all year round, as well as foster opportunities for professional networking and knowledge exchange.

Reflecting the fast-growing facets of the MICE industry in this region, Mr Xu Jing also disclosed that by 2018, ASEAN will be able to welcome more than 12 million MICE visitors, out of a total of 119 million travellers from around the globe. The ASEAN Conference also served as a platform to help enable a dialogue aimed at leveraging knowledge and policy exchange, and driving growth within the region. Additionally, the UNWTO also plans to release the second edition of the Asia-Pacific MICE Industry Report in the near future.

The ASEAN Conference on MICE in Collaboration with UNWTO is scheduled for 28 September 2016, with key attendants including Mr Xu Jing, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, and Mr Igor Stefanovic, representative from UNWTO, who will be presenting a special session on the Role of Accessibility towards Competitive Advantage on MICE. Panel discussions with well-respected speakers from Thailand and around the world will also be held, including Dr Porametee Vimolsiri, Secretary-General of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, Ms Karen Bollinger, CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau, and Mrs Janet Tan-Collis, President of Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS).

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