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Thailand Incentive and Convention Association celebrates key milestones

October 8, 2014 MICE No Comments Email Email

The Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) celebrates its 30th year anniversary in 2014. Formed in 1984 with 32 members, TICA now has over 370 members with low membership turnover.

EventsTICA’s two core focuses:

  1. To promote and market Thailand as a leading business events destination in the world, through aligning business strategies and working closely with public organisations such as Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
  2. To ensure that the business events industry and TICA members increase in economic impacts through teamwork. These are underpinned by a series of quality and innovative training programmes based on best business practices and the pure intention of raising industry benchmarks.

TICA’s board of directors and committee members are made up of Thailand’s leading business events organisations from professional event and destination management companies and leading convention centres, venues and hotels. The board and committee members are committed to regular meetings to deliver beyond the expectations of members and the broader industry. It is through this focused commitment over the past 30 years that has allowed TICA to achieve significant milestones:

1998 – TICA campaigned and successfully raised funds through 22 members to help bid for the 2002 XII World Congress of Gastroenterology. Thailand successfully secured the 15,000 delegate-strong event which was the first World Congress of Gastroenterology ever hosted in Asia Pacific region.

1999 – TICA created the Convention Promotion Fund (CPF) to assist professional associations, non-profit societies and qualified local hosts in the bidding and hosting of international events of more than 200 delegates each in Thailand. THB 22 million was raised and the CPF first lent its support in 2001. Since its inception, the CPF has assisted event hosts in winning 30 congresses.

2002 – TICA identified the need for Thailand to have a dedicated MICE bureau and campaigned for the creation of TCEB. Since its creation, TICA and TCEB have been working hand in hand in member-driven capacity building strategies as well as overcoming challenges Thailand faces.

In line with the vision of a united industry with business opportunities created through teamwork, TICA supports its members through public relations and marketing and promotion activities and has supported various alliances to drive business and social events, such as the alliance of the Bangkok Chao Phraya River precinct.

“TCEB and Thailand Incentive and Convention Association share a common goal of elevating Thailand’s MICE industry to a global standard, and our strong collaboration has spanned numerous industry-leading projects, from developing a comprehensive MICE database to facilitating joint road shows for private-sector players. TICA has played an outstanding role in helping to establish the MICE Academy programme, AEC Operational manual for SMEs, as well as competency standard for key operational positions. They also have taken the initial step to enforce sustainability concepts into practice, and provided exceptional input and work in harmony with the MICE Capabilities Development Department to drive MICE sector in Thailand and more. Our close partnership will continue to drive the development of the industry in 2015 and beyond,” said Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, president of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau.

TICA places a strong focus on quality education for the industry. As the board and committee members are operating businesses in the industry, TICA is on the pulse of business needs on a daily basis. It is through this knowledge and in-depth market research that enables TICA to tailor and create a series of training programmes. TICA’s renowned “Train the Trainers” programme for 18 industry veterans has led to the veterans creating their own courses.

“TICA always comes up with practical trainings related to industry demand and up-to-date situation. The training was very useful and spot on. It helped my organisation and me to envision the market situation in the coming months after the political turmoil. In the same time, it brought together industry veterans to brainstorm, share ideas and experiences, which I found very effective and invaluable,” said Santhiti Arunsit, manager, sales – travel trade for Banyan Tree Bangkok.

“The TICA membership has been fully beneficial to us. We have got very useful market intelligence and assistance. Their trainings are of highest standards and we are waiting to join the next one with great anticipation,” said Tobias Fischer, director business development at Go Vacation Thailand.

The focus on developing sustainable future talent motivated the association to create the TICA career advisory road shows, where university students can learn more about the industry and enjoy job placement opportunities. Attendees of TICA courses also received an official certification of attendance, recognised at member organisations as a commitment to uphold improved industry standards and professionalism.

Most recently, TICA commissioned Rangsit University to do large-scale research for a 500-page training manual and guide for businesses that employ event coordinators. This gives organisations an opportunity to weave industry standards set within this guide into their respective training programmes.

As TICA gains momentum in creating awareness for destination Thailand, the association maintains communication with members, subscribers, domestic and international MICE planners through e-newsletters and social media channels. Throughout the years, TICA has assisted members in value-adding marketing tactics. For example, TICA has produced 20 issues of MICE directories since 1985. It introduced a new MICE directory in early 2014 that is available in print, online and mobile application in hopes of broadening international reach, as well as giving members the opportunity to frequently update their information digitally.

International buyers have been impressed with the work TICA has done. Clynton Chatfield, travel supervisor of Royal Automobile Club of WA based in Perth, Australia, said: “Not long ago, I was fortunate to participate in a famil which included Bangkok and Krabi. I was very impressed with the organisational skills shown by the TICA staff in arranging the activities, networking with principals and other arrangements. This one particular famil I participated in started from the very beginning with an impressive greeting upon arrival Bangkok and transfer to the hotel. I knew straight away that this operation was going to be run by experts. I would have no hesitation whatsoever in using or recommending TICA and staff for their friendliness, knowledge, expertise and ability in doing what they say they will do.”

Ian Andrew Walsh, creative director/managing director of G1 Group from Sydney, Australia, said: “I can’t thank the team at TICA enough for their invaluable assistance with researching hotels in Thailand for our client’s conference in 2014. We were able to secure a hotel that met our unique requirements and over a time when many people were reconsidering Thailand, TICA was able to offer a variety of alternatives within Thailand. Being in Bangkok over this period, I am very pleased to say that we were able to secure a hotel that met our unique requirements and I look forward to our next programme in Thailand and working with the TICA team again soon.”

It is important for TICA to continue raising the bar as the only industry association for business events in Thailand. The association is proud of its achievements over the past few years, especially when it works tirelessly without profit with members and the industry to ensure that Thailand remains a leading business events destination in the world.

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