Chinese businesses boost Thai convention market
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau recently joined the China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest to showcase its achievements in the Chinese market of meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition and talk about its future plans.
“China is Thailand’s biggest MICE market and its growth is very strong. We hope that the number of Chinese MICE visitors will be our leading growth point again this year,” says Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, president of TCEB. He attributes that to Thailand’s geographic location, which can serve the Chinese MICE market better with its meeting venues, accommodations and high service standards.
The recent short-term visa fee exemption for Chinese passport holders and the strong relations between China and Thailand’s MICE sectors are also important factors.
In 2013, Asia was the biggest market for MICE travelers to Thailand, accounting for 75.25 percent of all MICE visitors, followed by Europe at 10.1 percent and the United States at 4.7 percent. Last year, more than 128,400 Chinese MICE tourists came to Thailand, an increase of 13.2 percent compared with 2012.
Thailand’s top five MICE destinations — Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket, and Khon Kaen — offer a diversity of MICE events and facilities for Chinese business visitors. Bangkok is constructing five convention and exhibition centers, with an investment of $196 million. They will be completed in several years. The city is constructing transport links and will have 508 kilometers of new routes by 2029.