The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization), or TCEB, has today unveiled the next step in its strategy to boost confidence among Japanese business events stakeholders in Thailand’s MICE industry, positioning the country as a gateway to success in ASEAN. The bureau is spearheading both global initiatives including the Thailand CONNECT The World and Thailand’s MICE United II campaigns, and targeted initiatives for Japan, such as special financial subsidies of up to 1,000,000 baht (approximately 3,000,000 yen) for large corporate meeting groups, per head incentives for groups who engage in business matching activities, and comprehensive support for Mega Events, among others.
The bureau also reported that from October 2013 to September 2014, Thailand welcomed 919,614 business events travellers, contributing more than 80.8 billion baht (297.34 billion yen) to the country’s economy. Of these, 31,373 were Japanese MICE travellers, generating 2.8 billion baht (11.41 billion yen), placing Japan in the Thailand’s top 10 source markets. The momentum continued in the first quarter of the 2015 fiscal year – October to December 2014 – when 5,893 Japanese business events travellers generated in total 2.16 billion yen for the Thai economy, representing a 45.76 per cent and 127.81 per cent year-over-year increase in visitor numbers and revenue, respectively.
Building on this momentum Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha earlier this month announced the lifting of martial law, replacing it with a new security order under Article 44 of the Provisional Charter. The Thai government has promised to restore democracy following reforms, and responsibly exercise powers to urgently solve national problems.
Mrs. Supawan Teerarat, TCEB’s Vice President Strategic and Business Development, commented on the close collaboration between the Thai and Japanese MICE sectors, stating that, “As the Thai government’s official flagship body for the MICE sector, we are proud to build on the strong and long-standing relationship between Thailand and Japan’s MICE sectors, and showcase Thailand as a gateway to ASEAN success for Japanese businesses.”
A core part of TCEB’s outreach to Japanese MICE stakeholders is Thailand CONNECT The World, an integrated campaign highlighting Thailand’s unrivalled destinations, business prospects, and people. Under ‘Destinations’,Thailand’s five top tier business events cities are showcased,
offering limitless options both inside and outside the event venue. ‘Business’ highlights how, as a world leader in a range of industries, Thailand harnesses regional integration to offer global prospects and opportunities to businesses seeking a springboard for AEC success. ‘People’ emphasises Thailand’s proficient professionals who serve with effortless simplicity, gracious smiles and signature Thai service, as well as benchmark-setting industry standards.
The second key initiative is Thailand’s MICE United II, a strategic campaign with collaboration from nine public and private organisations, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thai Airways International PLC, the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association, the Bangkok Riverside Marketing Partnership, the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association, the Thai Exhibition Association, True Corporation PLC, and Bangkok Mass Transit System PLC. TCEB recently kicked off the first activity of Thailand’s MICE United II by joining forces with TrueMove H and BTS Skytrain to introduce the Thailand CONNECT Welcome Package, designed to attract international MICE visitors to experience Thailand’s MICE industry, and strengthen Thailand’s position as a preferred MICE destination in Asia. The package comprises a special Thailand CONNECT edition BTS Connect SmartPass, and one-hour Free WiFi Trial by TrueMove H, with more than 100,000 True WiFi hotspots around the country.”Thailand CONNECT the World highlights how Thailand’s diversity of destinations are enriched by world-class infrastructure and seamless connectivity, and it is a core part of our strategy to strengthen confidence in our MICE industry among Japanese stakeholders. This is especially relevant after the recent official lifting of martial law, given the vastly improved political environment,” Mrs. Supawan added.
To bring both of these core campaigns to life, TCEB has also launched a series of targeted, local promotions for Japanese stakeholders.
The first is a special Meetings Bonus, which offers organizers generous financial subsidies for groups of 200 or more delegates who visit Thailand for three nights or longer to attend corporate meetings and incentives. Applications are open from now until 30 June, and travel needs to take place before 30 September. For groups of 200 or more, organisers will receive a subsidy of 100,000 baht (approximately 300,000 yen), while larger groups of 500 or more will receive 300,000 baht (approximately 900,000 yen), and groups of 1,000 people or more are eligible for 1,000,000 baht (approximately 3,000,000 yen). Large meetings and incentives trips can also take advantage of TCEB’s Mega Events…Sustainable Challenge initiative, with one-off support under the Once in Thailand scheme, or progressive support under the Thailand Step Up scheme for groups of 1,000 or more, organisers will receive a subsidy of 1,000,000 baht (approximately 3,000,000 yen).
TCEB’s Thailand: Inspiring Destination campaign complements this bonus, showcasing how organizers can add value to their business event with CSR activities. The beaches of Southern Thailand offer activities such as releasing turtles, cultivating coral, cleaning up the beach and planting sea grass, while the mountains of Northern Thailand offer the chance to care for and feed rescued elephants, build check dams, or conduct aerial reforestation, and in Bangkok and surrounds, delegates can volunteer in schools, read for the blind, clean up local rivers, or engage in mangrove reforestation.
TCEB is also offering special incentives for conventions organisers and delegates, through the Convene and CONNECT in Thailand campaign, which features three key elements: CONNECT People, which encourages networking by enhancing organisers’ social events, with cultural support to the value of 50,000-100,000 baht (approximately 180,000 – 300,000 yen) for between 100 and 300 people, and financial support for a cultural performance for 300 people or more.CONNECT Business helps organisers of events with at least 300 international delegates gain more attendees from ASEAN+6 countries, through support for up to three marketing activities per event, with maximum support of 200,000 baht (approximately 700,000 yen) per activity. Finally, CONNECT Destination
For international exhibitions, TCEB’s J-Privilege campaign offers a host of complimentary extras. The first is CONNECT Business, offering special support for business matching activities for trade visitor groups of 10 or more delegates who travel to attend TCEB-supported international events in Thailand. To qualify for special support US$100 per person, the groups must stay a minimum of three days / two nights, with a combined total of at least 30 business matching appointments.
The second is TCEB’s MICE Lane Service, which international exhibitions visitors can enjoy on arrival at Bangkok’s Suvannabhumi Airport. The exclusive five-point VIP service offers visitors a seamless journey, from being met at the aircraft docking ramp, use of a special entrance, VIP room, TCEB information counter, and even assistance from local police and airport parking staff.
For Mega Events organisers, TCEB has initiated the J-Plan…in Thailand campaign, with exclusive offers for Japanese associations, festivals and event organisers who plan to co-create a festival or event in Thailand as a joint venture with Thai partners. For high profile events attracting 10,000 or more domestic and international visitors, TCEB offers comprehensive support, including feasibility studies, identification of local partners, complimentary flights and accommodation for site inspection trips, facilitation of introductions to government and private sector stakeholders, an international promotion program in ASEAN, post event evaluation, and even fast track services at Suvannabhumi Airport.
TCEB also revealed its confirmed line up of MICE Events with participation from Japanese business groups, including Fuji Pharma Company Limited, Imagine, Daimatsum, INC Thailand, Nisshoku Company Limited, while others will also join Bangkok Comic Con 2015.
“We are confident that through a combination of our global initiatives including Thailand CONNECT The World and Thailand’s MICE United II, as well as targeted local initiatives such as those we’re presenting to Japanese stakeholders, the Thai business events sector will continue to grow strongly in 2015. Thailand expects to welcome 1,036,300 business events visitors in 2015, generating revenue of approximately 106.78 billion baht or 392.95 billion yen,” Mrs. Supawanconcluded.