Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) are raising the idea of an Asia Convention Alliance to revive international conventions in Asia. The idea was put forward following an industry mapping exercise undertaken jointly by TCEB and TICA. The proposed founding members of the alliance are China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Taiwan and the proposed theme is ‘Asia Convention for Asia’.
The alliance’ objectives will be to restore the region’s convention industry, to strengthen relations between member countries, and to facilitate knowledge exchange. To achieve these objectives, TCEB and TICA are envisioning a range of potential projects, such as collaboration among Asian convention bureaus to drive the alliance, creating an alliance for Asia’s Professional Conference Organisers (PCO), introducing the concept of joint conventions where member countries take turn hosting a convention, and create an Asian or regional edition of a global event. These projects could take the form of an Asian PCO Alliance Roundtable, client-supplier business forums, reciprocal assistance in areas such as marketing and visa facilitation when a convention is rotated between member countries, or travel bubble promotional campaigns.
Mrs. Nichapa Yoswee, Senior Vice President – Business, TCEB, said: “The idea for the Asia Convention Alliance is based on our forecast that Asian market will recover before long-haul markets do. We predict that next year, as convention attendees feel confident enough to venture beyond borders again, they will start with regional destinations. Countries that are deemed safe and well prepared will make the cut. Hence, the time is right to form Asian alliance that can capitalise on our collective knowledge and capabilities. We must also bear in mind that, post-COVID-19, there will be fresh demand for new knowledge, new experiences, and new channels for professional growth. Convention is one way to meet this demand. We must be ready to make a convincing case for conventions in Asia.”
Convention bureaus and PCOs in Asia should make a start in forming the alliance and collaborate in producing a list of potential conventions for Asia and set the target, for example five conventions should be rotated among the five countries within 3 years, stated Mrs. Nichapa.
Mr. Sumate Sudasna, President of TICA, said: “TICA’s membership spans the full chain of incentive and convention suppliers. We are the most experienced and reliable partners overseas convention planners can work with. TICA is a long-standing collaborator of TCEB and other stakeholders in Thailand’s meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) industry. We want to help our members overcome the challenges of 2020 and build themselves up again for the new opportunities that will appear on the horizon. We are ready to share our resources and market expertise with every member of the proposed Asian Convention Alliance. Together, we can give Asia’s convention industry a deserving reboot in 2021.”
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