The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) have worked together in establishing Khon Kaen province as the new MICE City and Tourism Destination of Asia–Pacific through the upcoming PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2018 (PDMF 2018). Held in Khon Kaen province between 28 and 30 November 2018, the event will attract travel experts from all over the world.
Dr. Somsak Changtragul, governor of Khon Kaen province, says, “Khon Kaen has already developed its infrastructure to a point that it is well ready to step into the world’s MICE industry. The number of big international events in Khon Kaen, therefore, has kept rising. We are now pleased that we will soon welcome Thai and foreign visitors joining the PDMF 2018 too”.
“It’s an honor to host such an international forum. This honor moreover, confirms Khon Kaen’s readiness to become a new MICE City in Thailand. As Khon Kaen hosts various international events such as APEC Ministerial Meetings, International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences, and Thai-ASEAN Trade Fair, more tourists and MICE participants have come to our province. Their arrivals have generated increasingly higher tourism income for Khon Kaen,” he adds.
“We have the policy to boost Khon Kaen’s potential further via connections with all other countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. As for now, Khon Kaen is pursuing the goal of becoming the region’s tourism and MICE hub through participation in the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS). Supported by TCEB, we have designed tourism activities that highlight the province’s unique appeal and developed attractions for both general tourists and MICE participants. Our efforts also cover the development of transportation and logistics. Attractions in Khon Kaen are developed with MICE activities in mind, and human resources prepared to accommodate MICE industry. Everything, venue and activities included, complies with the project’s MICE-oriented standards. Also, we have promoted Khonkaen MICE City campaign in collaboration with TCEB and TAT. Our goal is to boost the number of overnight visitors and MICE participants in Khon Kaen to more than five millions from 3.8 million a year today,” he continues.
Mrs. Supawan Teerarat, Senior Vice President of Strategic and Business Develop at TCEB, says, “PDMF2018 will be held in Khon Kaen between 28 and 30 November 2018 under the “Growth with Goals” concept. TCEB, TAT, and Khon Kaen will co-host this event in line with the policy to boost the economy of a provincial city and develop it as MICE City alongside Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket”.
“Khon Kaen has long hosted regional meetings for government agencies. It therefore has facilities to accommodate both domestic and international events. It even has the Khonkaen International Convention and Exhibition Center (KICE), which is the third biggest such center in Thailand. Khon Kaen, therefore, has solid strength to become a MICE City in regards to infrastructure. There are many well-equipped hotels for organizational-level meetings, professional seminars, and international exhibitions in Khon Kaen. Moreover, Khon Kaen is undeniably the Northeast’s transportation hub. It hosts regional government offices and leading universities too. Many new-generation businesspeople are also actively driving urban development in Khon Kaen. Adding its rich culture and history, Khon Kaen solidly qualifies as a great MICE City”.
“In organizing PDMF 2018, TCEB has empowered Khon Kaen’s economy and identity. TCEB has also striven to reduce the upcoming event’s environmental impacts based on Sustainable Event standards. Thanks to our negotiations with PATA, tourism operators, government agencies working in tourism and local areas, and organizations responsible for Community-based Tourism can also join PDMF 2018 free-of-charge. OTOP groups are welcome to present their outstanding products and apply them to the event too. In all through PDMF 2018, TCEB has played a really important role in promoting Khon Kaen and nearby cities as MICE Cities. All organizations taking part in developing and marketing Khon Kaen can learn a lot and get networking opportunities from this international event. TCEB is firmly committed to supporting environmentally friendly & socially responsible events for the sustainable benefits of local communities. We hope to generate income for local communities on a sustainable basis, which in turn will drive Thailand’s macro economy,” she adds.
Mr. Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, Deputy Governor for Policy and Planning at TAT says, “We are pleased to have supported PDMF 2018 and created a good opportunity for Khon Kaen to become a major MICE City and Toursim Destination in Thailand. PDMF 2018 is held to promote and develop a city that has a good potential to become a tourism destination. Whenever PDMF is held, its choice of venue reflects that the place is another interesting alternative. No matter where PDMF is held, community economy enjoys a boost. PDMF 2018 therefore is in line with TAT’s “Open to the New Shades of Thailand” policy. TAT is now encouraging foreigners to indulge in the various aspects of Thainess from a new perspectives. TAT is inviting them to go deeper about local value. Thainess value is being added so that it is ready to expand Thailand’s tourism further”.
“Chosen as the venue for PDMF 2018, Khon Kaen proves that it is a qualified tourism destination. It is a big and well-equipped city, with facilities to accommodate various types of tourists. It has an airport, which can significantly save tourists’ travel time. PDMF 2018, moreover, offers TAT and Khon Kaen opportunities to promote Community-based Tourism. This kind of tourism answers well to tourists’ current needs, environmental care, and grassroots economy. Such tourism brings tourists into direct contacts with locals through various activities so that they can learn about local ways of life including local cuisine. Tourists will not just taste local food but also learn how to cook them. It should be noted that local dishes are unique, with recipes rooted in local beliefs and passed on from generation to generation. TAT has already prepared technical tours for PDMF 2018 participants. There are three main programs. Route 1: Isan Craft & Culture (Sila Community – Wat Chai Sri), Route 2: The Abundance of Isan (MeKin de Farmily – Dinosaur Museum) and Route 3: The Wisdom of Isan (Ban Hua Fai Silk Village – Wat Thung Setthi). All these programs will allow participants to soak in local cultures and local ways of life”.
Dr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of PATA, says, “PATA is a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting tourism of the Asia – Pacific. At present, more than 800 organizations from 95 nations are PATA members. Our members cover government agencies, 20 airliners/airports, 102 service organizations, 70 educational institutes, and more than 100 Young Tourism Professionals. PATA has organized PATA Destination Marketing Forum or PDMF on a regular basis. Every PDMF brings together distinguished tourism/travel experts who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences with other PDMF participants. Seminars at PDMF cover a variety of topics, including marketing, tourism management, and little-known but interesting destinations. It has been widely known that PDMF has already introduced several new destinations for tourists. The venues chosen
for PDMF are usually hidden gems. Though not widely known, host cities of PDMF are charming. When PDMF is held there, it spurs community economy because it beckons travelers from all over the world. Previous PDMF events have taken place in Albay – the Philippines, Cox’s Bazar – Bangladesh, and Koror – Palau. As for PDMF 2018, PATA has chosen Khon Kaen – Thailand as the host city. TCEB, TAT, and Khon Kaen authorities have joined hands in organizing the upcoming event. We expect PDMF 2018 to attract more than 200 participants. Interesting seminar topics include Status of Destination Management Around the World, The Role of Local Experiences in Destination Marketing, Fighting Undertourism Through Innovative Storytelling and Calculating our Impact as Destinations. PDMF 2018 will also include digital-marketing workshops”.