Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau has taken another step forward in strengthening Thailand’s leadership position as a hub for unique business events in Asia by introducing Chiang Rai – the northernmost province of Thailand that is complete with potential and readiness in facilitating business events. To pave the way for endless innovative experiences for business events travellers to Thailand, the TCEB International Media Familiarisation Trip 2016 or IMFT 2016 has been organised to showcase modern facilities and time-honoured heritage of Bangkok and Chiang Rai.
Underlining the success of Thailand’s business events industry, TCEB revealed that in the first half of the 2016 fiscal year – from October 2015 to March 2016 – Thailand welcomed 493,384 business events travellers, earning the Thai economy more than 39,671 billion baht (approximately US$1,116 million). Of these, a total of 135,240 (22%) were here for meetings; 143,053 (23%) for incentive events, 141,015 (22%) for conventions, and 74,076 (12%) for exhibitions. The top five markets during this period were China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and the United States.
As a testament, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) reported that Thailand’s world ranking improved from 33rd place in 2014 to 27th place in 2015 in the number of international meetings held – increased from 118 events in 2014 to 151 events in 2015. For the Asia -Pacific ranking, Thailand is in 6th place, behind Japan, China, Korea, Australia and Singapore. In addition, Bangkok’s world ranking jumped from 29th place in 2014 to 16th place in 2015 with the number of international meetings increased from 73 in 2014 to 103 meetings in 2015. When compared with other Asia – Pacific cities, Bangkok ranks 4th, behind Singapore, Seoul and Hong Kong.
Mr Weerasak Kowsurat, Chairman of the Board of TCEB disclosed that, “The ongoing success of the Thai business events industry demonstrates our strategy to encourage public, private, people, and communities to work hand in hand to harness the power of cultural capital and local wisdom, building sustainable economic growth and generating income for local communities. This is in line with the government’s policy, which requires us to work with our strategic partners to achieve one common goal — making Thailand a premier global business events destination.”
In this honour, TCEB has laid out strategy to showcase emerging destinations throughout Thailand that can offer unique experiences for business events, while continue to highlight Bangkok as a premier destination at the heart of the fast-growing ASEAN region.
During TCEB International Media Familiarisation Trip 2016, delegates will have the chance to learn more of the exciting new and upcoming developments in Bangkok such as sky train routes and much more.
To showcase Thailand’s emerging business events destination, Chiang Rai has been chosen to be featured prominently in TCEB International Media Familiarisation Trip 2016. This Thailand’s northernmost province is strategically located in the Golden Triangle area which enables business events travellers to conveniently connect to the neighbouring countries of Laos, Myanmar and China. Boasting a laid-back atmosphere and a blend of cultures, Chiang Rai is complete with facilities that can serve the sophisticated needs of international business events travellers.
In addition, TCEB International Media Familiarisation Trip 2016 will showcase some of Thailand’s endless innovative experiences for business events travellers. TCEB has worked with partners to identify these experiences based on the kingdom’s distinctive characters which include Fascinating History and Culture; Outdoor Adventures; Team Building; CSR and Green Meetings; Beach Bliss; Lavish Luxury and Culinary Journeys.
Together with its partners which include the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Airports of Thailand, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, King Power International Company Limited and the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association well as the provincial authority of Chiang Rai, the TCEB International Media Familiarisation 2016 is aimed to strengthen Thailand’s leadership position as a premier destination at the heart of the fast-growing ASEAN region.
Mr Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Executive Director Advertising and Public Relations Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand said that “The TAT has long aimed at developing strategies to seek out new markets and develop niche ones as a way of attracting quality tourists to Thailand. This is why TAT supports the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau in promoting the amazing venues for MICE events as well as Thailand’s wide range of activities and destinations. The promotion of Thailand as a Quality Leisure Destination through Thainess ties in with this strategy by showcasing the kingdom’s unique experiences, hospitality, shopping and spas to tempt business events visitors to enjoy extended breaks, and to experience more that Thailand can offer.”
Ms Kanlayapha Panich, Thai Airways Manager of MICE Department said that “As Thailand’s national flag carrier, THAI is committed to promoting the Kingdom as a venue for international meetings, conventions, incentives, and exhibitions. As a member of the International Congresses and Conventions Associations (ICCA) since 1975, THAI staff has acquired the know-how to organize international meetings and thus is able to understand the needs of organizers, thereby serving them best. With its endeavor to become the MICE hub of Asia, THAI together with TCEB, TAT, and Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) has consistently promoted Thailand and given support to meeting and incentive planners/organizers around the world.”
Mr Anuchit Sapa-Asa, Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing Division (Acting), of King Power International Company Limited said Over 27 years of experience as the leading duty free and tax free retail in Thailand, King Power has highlighted the importance of MICE business groups who come to Thailand for meeting, exhibition and particular purposes. The Aksra Theatre at King Power provides 600 seats to host spectacular conference, adjoining restaurants for catering services as well as Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel where offers 366 guest room. The hotel also serves as a premier venue for various meeting and exhibition events. All meeting participants can also enjoy MICE privilege for shopping at nine locations of King Power Duty Free complex including four stores in major tourist venues at Rangnam, Srivaree, Pattaya, Phuket and additional outlets in five airports including Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Hat Yai, Chiang Mai and Phuket.”
Mr Chai Srivikorn, President, Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association said that, “Ratchaprasong District is the heart of retail, commerce, entertainment and tourism in Bangkok. The area doubles as an important location for MICE events with over 420,000 sq. meters of meeting and conference space. Seven luxury hotels in the district offering a combined 3,648 rooms of luxury accommodations for visitors. To add, the district is a place where different types of tourists and business people can enjoy a unique retail and lifestyle culture. From great restaurants, shopping mall and relaxing spas, Ratchaprasong has it all. All hotels and shopping malls are also connected with the Ratchaprasong Skywalk which allows visitors to walk above street level all year round.”
Also underlining TCEB’s strategy to ensure Thailand’s leadership position as a destination, the bureau is offering business visitors the Thailand CONNECT Welcome Package until December 2016. This global support is specially designed to provide business travellers with the essentials to ‘connect’ businesses in Thailand under the country’s three fundamental pillars for the MICE industry, namely destination, business, and people.
The special privileges include a Thailand CONNECT edition BTS pass, Bangkok MICE Map that covers key MICE venues and attractions in Bangkok, 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.
The Thailand CONNECT Welcome Package and the introduction of Chiang Rai as an emerging business events destination complement TCEB’s overarching 2016 ‘Thailand CONNECT…Our Heart, Your World’ strategy, which highlights the country’s role not only as a unique destination at the HEART of ASEAN and an unparalleled business hub at the HEART of both the emerging Asian region and the global marketplace, but also a thriving hub, where passionate people offer seamless service from the HEART, and with an unforgettable smile.
The 2016 fiscal year will also see Thailand’s thriving business events industry play host to a range of some of the world’s most important events, including the Infinitus China Overseas Training 2016, the UFI Open Seminar in Asia 2016 – which is the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, the 29th International Society of Sugarcane Technologists Congress, the Bangkok Entertainment Week 2016, the ASEAN Sustainable Energy Week 2016, and ProPak Asia 2016.
Looking ahead, TCEB forecasts that the marketing initiatives will enable it achieve a five per cent increase in visitors over 2015, welcoming more than one million business travellers and earning the Thai economy a total of 92,000 million baht (approximately US$2.5 billion in the fiscal year 2016).