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TCEB inspires success for the world’s luxury MICE business with five ‘chic & charming’ destinations

Thailand eyes high-end market with ‘Luxury MICE’ initiative

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) adds to the ‘Believe in Thailand’ campaign with its ‘Luxury MICE’ initiative, which is designed for a niche market. In this plan for market penetration, TCEB plans to expand its luxury presence with five splendid ‘chic & charming’ destinations comprising of Bangkok, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Samui, that promise to provide a truly captivating experience, high standards and unspoiled natural landscapes. Beginning with the European market, the Bureau is confident that the initiative will add 15-20 per cent to Thailand’s MICE industry with the ‘Luxury MICE’ segment projected to contribute around GBP 80 million this year.

Thailand’s Meetings & Incentives industry has offered endless possibilities and inspired the success for both business and leisure for a long time. In 2011, the country turned another page in its service history by lifting its status and moving into the luxury destinations category. This shift was due to the change of the global trends; in 2011, the global meetings industry will see a gradual shift to high-end meetings. Thailand is in the position to offer luxurious destinations and services for a reasonable and competitive price.

Speaking at the Believe in Thailand: London Road Show, Mr. Akapol Sorasuchart, the President of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), revealed, “The change of the business traveller’s behavior drives our business. Thailand will always inspire and provide a unique experience for all kinds of business events. Apart from the successive ROI of every meeting and event, the business travellers will also seek more inspiration and expect more. This is the reason to present and market the “Luxury MICE” initiative to the global market, focusing first on the European market.”

Thailand has chosen five destinations in the country which traditionally have been popular meetings and incentives destinations and are well equipped to meet the needs of meetings participants and the industry. The five destinations have also been singled out because of their exclusive accommodation facilities, high-standard international facilities, unspoiled natural landscapes and luxury culinary delights. These are inclusive of Bangkok, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Samui.

“In terms of the number, the luxury Meetings market grown continuously in Thailand over the past few years after the global economic recession. The visitors, especially from the long-haul markets, come in smaller groups for their meetings and incentives events but with more exclusivity and higher expectations. On average, the spending per head of Thailand’s meeting industry estimated at approximately GBP 1,240. With this initiative, we expect to increase the spending per head to up to GBP 1,625 per head. Altogether, we are confident that Thailand’s luxury meetings segment will contribute €90 million to the MICE industry,” added Mr. Akapol.

To promote the Luxury MICE segment, a series of activities have been set. Apart from promotion for recognition in the luxury market, the Bureau will conduct a Luxury Familiarization Trip, starting this June with the Russian market and again later this year, targeting the European region as a whole. All these programmes are set to offer the target audience a unique, exclusive and first-hand experience as well as the chance inspect the country’s luxury MICE products. Furthermore, the Bureau has integrated its promotion of this niche with its annual events, such as the ‘Connections Plus’ programme, the yearly event during which Thailand hostskey buyers, corporate clientele and members of media. This year, Connections Plus is aimed at enhancing the global recognition of Hua Hin in terms of its readiness in MICE industry and the splendid landscape of the destination.

According to the statistic report, the Meetings and Incentives industries have the biggest share in Thailand’s MICE industry, accounting for 41%. Last year, Thailand welcomed around 79,797 European MICE visitors; Europe has long been one of the major markets for the Thai MICE industry. With the expectation of the 720,000 MICE visitor arrivals to Thailand in 2011, a total of 100,800 visitors are expected to be from Europe; a market share of 15% and an increase of 26% from 2010.

“Thailand has shown over the years that it is one of the best destinations for UK MICE professionals who are looking for diversity in their business events. UK is one of the Thailand’s key markets and accounts for around 10 per cent of total European MICE visitors to Thailand. For maximum UK market penetration this year, the Bureau is here conducting a Thai government-backed roadshow: “Believe in Thailand: UK Road Show 2011” to London and Manchester during 19-20 May, bringing 18 Thai MICE professionals to conduct their business and negotiate with UK buyers. In 2011, the market is expected to grow to 47 per cent accumulated – 10,600 UK MICE visitors – generating revenues of around GBP 13.2 millions,” concluded Mr. Akapol.

In addition, here in the UK, Thailand reveals its candidature of Ayutthaya as the site for World Expo 2020. Thailand’s proposed theme for the 2020 Expo is “Redefine Globalisation: Balanced Life, Sustainable Living.”

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