Thailand’s government has identified MICE as an “essential” part of the country’s tourism economy, and committed to its continued promotion.
The country’s Deputy Prime Minister, General Tanasak Patimapragorn, this week announced six new board members for the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), including new chairman Weerasak Kowsurat, and outlined a series of new policies to enhance the MICE sector.
“[The] new chairman… and board members of TCEB are considered professionals with rich experiences in tourism business and MICE,” General Tanasak said. “I have delivered key policies to the new board members focusing on four elements.
“Policy one will require the chairman… to stipulate the ‘free play’ operation policy and conduct brainstorming between board members in a similar direction. Policy two will require the transparency of budget operations with good governance.
“Policy three will require the integration of collaboration between public and private sectors, particularly the coordination with ASEAN member countries… [and] policy four will require relevant authorities to educate people on MICE industry and the role of TCEB,” he added.
In the 2014-15 financial year, Thailand welcomed 1.09 million MICE visitors, which marked an 18.8% increase compared to the previous 12-month period. MICE revenues rose in tandem, up 17.5% to THB94.97 billion (US$2.65bn).
And the country has secured several major events for the 2015-16 financial year, including the Organo Gold Asia Convention 2015 (10,000 delegates), One Young World 2015 (2,000 delegates), Special Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses 2015 (2,000 delegates) and TBEX Asia 2015 (900 delegates).
“The promotion of overall Thai economy in the fiscal year 2016 will concentrate immensely on MICE, as it is the business sector that could enhance Thailand’s economic expansion… as well as strengthen domestic and international confidence,” General Tanasak said. “It is expected that the fiscal year 2016 will see the number of MICE travellers increase by 5% to 1.06m… which could generate THB92,000m revenue into Thailand.”