Thailand highlights luxury in bid to woo Chinese event groups

Thai convention bureau chiefs are aiming to increase the numbers of high-end business tourism groups from China with the help of direct flights, strong ties between the two nations and promotional tours of key Chinese cities.

China already supplies the highest number of leisure tourists to the kingdom, but Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) wants to extend this success to the meetings and incentive travel market.

Supawan Teerara, deputy director of TCEB, said the number of Chinese business and leisure visitors is expected to rise to 96,000 for the whole of this year compared to 85,800 in 2014.

In an interview with Xinhua, the official China news agency, Teerara said business travellers from China are expected to spend a combined US$254 million compared to about $203 million in 2014.

Her comments come amid TCEB’s “Thailand CONNECT the World” campaign, which is designed to boost international confidence in the kingdom’s conference, business events and incentive travel capabilities while driving the Thai MICE sector into a leadership position within the Asean economic community.

Thailand’s luxury destinations and products will be targeted at meetings and incentive organisers in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Guangzhou in addition to international markets.

Teerara said TCEB would be running roadshows in Beijing and Guangzhou in April.

In addition to direct flights, Thailand and China have agreed on developing rail links and other infrastructure projects. These include a railway linking Khon Kaen, in the northeast of Thailand, with Kunming in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan.

Khon Kaen is being highlighted by TCEB as one of Thailand’s top five MICE destinations.


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