TCEB Leveraging MICE Personnel to Support Government’s Special Arrangement for the Entry of Overseas Investors

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Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), in collaboration with Department of Disease Control, has launched the specialised training for Destination Management Company (DMC) to design health-compliant itineraries as part of a government’s special arrangement policy for the entry of quarantine-free overseas investors. It also requires the training of MICE and travel industry personnel to become specially appointed International Visitor Assistant (IVA) in accompanying and facilitating the investors throughout their trips.

The Thai government has made a special arrangement of a short stay not exceeding 14 days for non-Thais entering Thailand for investment purposes with the exemption from the 14-day COVID-19 quarantine. Their entry is, however, subject to the approval of their host organization in Thailand and the authorised screening committee from trade and investment-related government agencies. Moreover, their itineraries must be pre-approved by the Thai authorities and they must follow such itineraries with the accompaniment of International Visitor Assistant (IVA), and medical personnel from the Observation Team for Disease Prevention (OTDP) who has undergone specialised training authorised by the Ministry of Public Health’s Disease Control Department. IVA will facilitate the visitors throughout the trip, while OTDP will ensure that all health and hygiene precautions are adhered to and will act as a first-time responder. This special escorted travel arrangement is a new mechanism for Thailand to attract overseas business groups or investors.

To respond to the government’s policy, TCEB has begun training DMCs in preparing a proper itinerary and training IVAs in carrying out their duties diligently. TCEB has recruited them because they are familiar with designing and operationalising travel plans, and their expertise and experience will ensure their guests enjoy hassle-free travel throughout Thailand.

TCEB Senior Vice President – MICE Capability and Innovation, Mrs. Supawan Teerarat, said: “The new training initiative to support the government’s special arrangement for quarantine-free entry is the latest effort to help revive business travel to Thailand and benefits both the visitors and local workers. The visitors will gain the assurance that their interest and welfare will be well taken care of, while the local workers will gain a new skill and raise his or her market value. The training will contribute towards the sustainability of MICE industry in the long term. Most immediately, however, it will help save jobs during this challenging time.”

To develop the training programme, TCEB drew on the resources of six universities under its MICE Academic Cluster. The universities are located in all key regions of Thailand – Bangkok, the North, Northeast, East, and South. The training programme was launched in Bangkok during November 30 and December 1 and will be rolled out in other MICE Cities. The trainees were 33 DMCs who are either members of Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) or Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA). It also trained 90 tour guides and DMC staff to be IVAs.

At this time of unprecedented disruption in international MICE and tourism, TCEB’s role in overseeing the staffing needs of the new entry arrangement is especially important as a means to help DMCs and tour agencies redeploy their staff so that business can remain viable. This is another step in TCEB’s journey in the mitigation of COVID-19 impacts, which began earlier in the year with the introduction of MICE Hygiene Guideline for venues and organisers.

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