MICE is a lucrative sector for the Thai visitor economy, but it is also one of the first to be impacted by events like the bombing, and generally takes longer to recover. To shore up the sector, the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has now announced six immediate steps it intends to take to provide extra security and reassurance to event organisers and groups.
These measures include providing a dedicated a “MICE Lane” for travellers arriving at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, setting up a special TCEB Counter at Suvarnabhumi to provide group information and assistance, providing updates to meeting planners on the security situation, offering police escorts to large groups (minimum 200 delegates), providing extra security for high-level executives or VIPs, and for the event itself.
These measures come despite the fact that, according to TCEB, there has been “no cancellation of MICE events” between August and October 2015.
“During August to October 2015, the number of MICE events confirmed to be held in Thailand is totalled at 72 events with 76,608 delegates, generating revenue of THB6,600 million (US$184 million),” said Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, TCEB’s president.
“There is no cancellation or postponement of events scheduled to be held in Thailand during this time. TCEB is confident that our ability to facilitate and maintain confidence among MICE organisers and travellers will help us keep all MICE events on track,” he added.
For the first three quarters of the 2015 financial year, Thailand welcomed a total of 726,280 business events travellers, up 7.8% year-on-year, although this is comparable to a difficult 2014, when political unrest and the military coup dampened arrivals to the country. Thailand’s largest MICE source markets during this period were mainland China, Singapore, India, Malaysia and the US.
TCEB said it expects Thailand to welcome a total of 1.036m business events travellers for the full financial year.