Thailand Updates

Thailand’s partnerships paying off

TCEB embraces collaborative approach to marketing strategy and product development for meetings and incentives.

Close to 970,000 international travellers have attended business events in Thailand in the first three quarters of the 2019 financial year, according to Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). This reflects a 6.25 per cent growth compared to the same period last year.

The growth is expected to continue with TCEB’s recent bid wins of 13 international conferences, 17 new trade shows, and 12 mega-sized meeting and incentive programmes of more than 100,000 delegates.

TCEB has won more than 300 business events in 15 years.

Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB’s senior vice president for business, attributes the achievements to the organisation’s partnership-driven marketing strategy. “We have a series of partnership programmes at all levels,” she says.

She highlights domestic associations, Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA), Thai Exhibition Association (TEA) and Thai Hotels Association (THA), as partners in finding creative solutions and new experiences for clients hosting events in Thailand.

She adds: “Together, we develop educational programmes and enforce standards such as the MICE Venue Standards to raise service quality. We also partner up with airlines namely Thai Airways and Thai Smile as official airlines for TCEB-supported business events.

“For exhibitions, we collaborate with associations and the ministries to bid for events. In line with Thailand 4.0 national development plan [which outline 12 key industry for growth], we are working closely with the government to bring international events to Thailand.”

Culinary experiences in Bangkok explore Thailand’s rich heritage.

The bureau is also going beyond what it calls the established “MICE cities” of Bangkok, Chiangmai, Phuket, Pattaya and Khon Kaen to partner with communities in surrounding provincial areas.

Director of marketing strategy at TCEB, Duangdej Yuaikwarmdee, says this strategic shift will tackle issues of over tourism and sustainability.

“Our focus is on the sustainability of tourism and distribution of economic benefits of business events to provincial areas of Thailand,” he says. “We believe that when the industry grows, the revenue should be distributed to the villages around the primary MICE cities in support of their culture, heritage and community.”

The bureau recently revealed the potential of a Bangkok-Hua Hin twin-destination programme for business events, combining the capital’s luxury lifestyle offerings with the seaside resort’s community-based activities.

Community-focused team-building in Hua Hin.

For 2020, TCEB intends to strengthen its presence in key markets such as China, India, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, as well as long-haul markets in the U.S. and Europe.

With new developments coming on board such as the opening of the 12,000 sqm True ICONSIAM Hall along the Chao Phraya River, and nine Bangkok hotels with a combined function space of 11,000 sqm, there’s certainly more room for MICE growth in the Land of Smiles.