Thailand an Emerging Regional Business Hub for Conference and Meetings Industry

Thailand ranks fourth in the world’s top 10 most popular long-haul destinations for meetings and incentives travel, and the income from MICE is expected to rise to 100 billion baht, which represents about 10% of the total annual tourism revenue of the country.

The MICE industry is an integral part of Thailand’s tourism industry as a whole. It brings more than
600,000 international business travellers to the country every year. The revenue contributed by these business travellers alone is said to be more than 40 million baht. In terms of business tourism, business travellers have a higher spending power and a potential to develop and grow by 20% to 30% yearly in Thailand.

Recently, the country’s largest convention centre, the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center at Muang Thong Thani, was the venue for the first ASEAN exhibition and conference of the meetings industry. It was organised by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) jointly with Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) and Trade Exhibition Association (Thai).

Mr Kajit Habanananda, director general of TCEB and chairman of the ASEAN MICE 2007 organising committee said in his welcome address, “With all the economic indicators pointing to an upbeat MICE industry, ASEAN MICE 2007 can’t be more timely.”

The event was all about promoting the benefits of the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions to the business people in the country – an opportunity for MICE operators in Thailand and within the region to network, introduce new resources and trends in the meetings industry. Basically, the exhibition was a one-stop centre for those who would like to know about MICE.

During the exhibition, delegates and visitors alike were able to walk through a modern meeting room through virtual reality simulation with a 12- metre long panorama screen and unique “turntable” seats, making the telling of stories a highly enjoyable experience; obtain information about a wide range of study programmes and jobs aimed at those interested in becoming part of the MICE industry; and attend a show-stopping stage performance of music, art and culture.

A nationwide competition was also launched in conjunction with ASEAN MICE 2007 to seek a new generation of quality MICE personnel. Called MICE Explorer, the competition was to encourage college students to enter the industry. A total of 100,000 baht cash prizes were given away. The Thai MICE industry has played a major role in the development of Thailand’s economy. It generates substantial revenue, creates jobs and disseminates income in the rural areas.