In a show of the industry’s readiness for domestic MICE post-COVID-19, some 6,000 suppliers, entrepreneurs and prospective clients attended the full-day hybrid event “Thailand MICE United” comprising a trade mart, a technology showcase, dialogue sessions, and the launch of two new MICE cities.
The Thai government is well aware of the power of MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) as an engine for economic recovery and income generation, and is extending high level of policy support to secure the wellbeing and resilience of Thailand’s domestic MICE industry. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Anutin Charnvirakul, gave this reassurance during his keynote address at ‘Thailand MICE United’, a MICE industry event held in Bangkok on September 2, 2020.
The full-day event saw a turnout of 1,240 delegates at Royal Paragon Hall and another 4,778 via Facebook live. The response reflected the keen desire of Thailand’s diverse MICE stakeholders to stand together to move the industry beyond COVID-19. Domestic MICE took centre stage.
Mr Anutin said: “We encourage every sector of our economy to hold its domestic meetings and trade shows in Thailand. This will help distribute income regionally and accelerate economic recovery. Now is the time for our public and private sectors to join forces and elevate MICE to become an even greater economic contributor to Thailand.”
A key component of ‘Thailand MICE United’ was the MICE Mart, which served a total of 360 pre-schedule appointments between 132 MICE suppliers from across the country and 305 buyers under enhanced health and safety measures.
Other than the MICE Mart and Mr Anutin’s address, the event also featured a seminar on how COVID-19 has reshaped client demand, a showcase of new technologies, and a dialogue on new meeting standards in the face of COVID-19.
A highlight was the launch of two new MICE cities – Songkhla in the south and Nakhon Ratchasima in the northeast. Having met the criteria for infrastructure, accessibility, range of delegate activities, and image, these two cities now join Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket and Khon Kaen as top-tier destinations to receive enhanced marketing and support.
TCEB’s support for domestic MICE is headlined by a subsidy of up to 30,000 Baht per event. For international MICE, there are four targetted campaigns: ‘Ease Up’ for meetings and incentives; ‘Convene Plus’ for conventions; ‘Re-Energize Exhibition’ for trade shows; and ‘Thailand Power-Up’ for mega events and festivals.
TCEB President Mr Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya said: “The groundwork we have laid will position Thailand for a robust recovery in domestic MICE. TCEB’s incentive schemes, together with the government’s strong policy support, our resourceful and dedicated MICE entrepreneurs, and the debut of Songkhla and Nakhon Ratchasima as our newest MICE cities will recast Thailand as a high-value, high-trust destination with richly-differentiated products. TCEB is committed to creating a favourable environment for our MICE entrepreneurs to excel, and help them deliver outstanding experiences for clients.”
The strong turnout at ‘Thailand MICE United’ was the clearest signal yet of the readiness of Thailand’s MICE industry to bounce back from the challenges wrought by COVID-19. The event was also a reaffirmation of TCEB’s close partnership with the government in ensuring steady, holistic support for the industry.