Targeting the MICE market

By Xu Lin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-10-08 07:52:40

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau is striving to attract Chinese business visitors to the country and promote new MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) destinations such as Chiang Rai.

"China is our biggest market for the meetings and incentives business, especially Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, with emerging cities such as Shenzhen and Chengdu," says TCEB's president Nopparat Maythaveekulchai.

Its data shows that from October 2015 to March 2016, more than 493,300 business event travelers visited Thailand.

About 22 percent were there for meetings, 23 percent for incentive events, 22 percent for conventions and 12 percent for exhibitions.

The top five markets for Thailand are China, India, Singapore, Malaysia and the Untied States.

Meanwhile, Maythaveekulchai says that the TCEB has appointed sales and marketing representatives to directly target corporate customers from these Chinese cities.

According to him, the bureau has been working with Chinese companies that are involved in sales, pharmaceuticals, banking and insurance to bring in Chinese groups to Thailand's MICE destinations.

To enhance the business travelers' experience, the bureau is offering visitors the Thailand Connect Welcome Package until December.

The package comprises a Bangkok Mass Transit System pass, a Bangkok MICE map and seven-day free Wi-Fi.

TCEB is also promoting the country's northernmost province Chiang Rai as an emerging MICE destination, which has natural attractions, delicious food and good facilities for business events.

Situated in the Golden Triangle region where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet, Chiang Rai is an essential gateway and logistics hub for South China and the Greater Mekong Subregion.

A 5-million-baht ($144,133) budget has been allocated for Chiang Rai International Airport, scheduled for completion in 2022, with various improvements such as helicopter parking construction.

By then, the airport's annual passenger handling capacity is expected to rise to 3 million passengers a year.

With the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community in 2015, Chiang Rai is being promoted with Chiang Mai, which is a part of Thailand's special economic zones.

The Thai government set up these zones to increase local commerce and communication with neighboring countries.

According to Maythaveekulchai, this will improve Chiang Rai's infrastructure and logistics networks and thus increase the city's attractiveness for MICE events.

"As ASEAN integration gathers pace among neighboring countries, the MICE industry will benefit Chiang Rai as more and more overseas investors and organizations visit to launch and promote their products and services."

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