Venue and economy drive unveiled in TCEB’s new strategy

VENUES approved for meetings, incentive and conference groups in Thailand will increase to 200 under a partnership between the country’s convention bureau and the government’s Cooperative Promotion Department, a TCEB forum in Bangkok was told.

The move comes as Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau launched a new brand campaign called Thailand REDEFINE Your Business Events. The rebrand is driven by the Thailand 4.0 Policy, the nation’s economic blueprint, which includes transforming the industrial belt south of Bangkok into a hub for innovative technology.

A standalone exhibition sector will also be developed under a public-private working group known as Empower Thailand Exhibition (EMTEX) with the aim of diversifying the types of events held throughout the country’s various regions and building on a strong 18 months for the industry.

The moves come as part of strategy unveiled by Dr Atchaka Sibunruang (right), chairman of the board of directors for TCEB, during the Thailand MICE Forum, Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, on September 11.

Atchaka said Thailand’s MICE industry would be focused on generating economic development, distributing wealth across all social sectors and enhancing technological innovation over the next 12 months.

“The change of operation guidelines enables TCEB to reform its tasks and roles… which are dedicated to [multiple] industries, creatively making a difference and to establishing partnerships that drive the growth of the MICE industry,” he said.

Atchaka said the projected revenue from MICE tourism would surpass THB228 million (about US$6.9m) through the fiscal year of 2019. Statistics from 2017 state the industry contributed THB173 million, or 1.1 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, to the national economy.

In terms of the challenges facing the industry, Atchaka singled out maintaining the top spot in Southeast Asia for conventions and exhibitions, as well as boosting Thailand’s rankings in Asia to compete with countries such as China and South Korea by 2021, as key priorities.

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To achieve these targets, the bureau will set up strategic partnerships with the private sector, including the provision of marketing packages and support for business events under the Thailand 4.0 policy, to boost economic development. The Thailand 4.0 policy, rolled out in May 2016, is aimed at encouraging innovative technology-based services and reducing the economy’s reliance on manufacturing sectors.

TCEB will also launch a digital tool, Biz CONNECT Application, to drive innovation within the MICE industry. The online business platform, which connects organisers and delegates, will provide additional information and registration functions to streamline and simplify event participation across the industry.

To further enhance the volume of MICE events nationwide — which on average have been held 20 times a year since the bureau’s formation in 2005 — and to distribute financing across all sectors, TCEB has entered a partnership with the Cooperative Promotion Department to increase the number of venues to 200 nationwide.

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“The statistics from 2017 showed that TCEB and operators in the MICE industry had created a positive impact on the country’s economy in different aspects,” Atchaka said. “The contribution rate of MICE to the GDP is comparable to that of Singapore, while in the same year the industry has contributed THB21.6 billion in tax and created as many as 167,300 jobs.”

Thailand is currently Asia’s fifth-largest market in terms of the number of conventions held annually, according to ICCA rankings and is placed seventh in Asia by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry for total exhibition space sold.

* Meanwhile, at the IT&CMA conference and trade show in Bangkok, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau launched a new brand campaign entitled “Thailand REDEFINE Your Business Events”. It is aimed at meeting the shifting demands of business travellers with a fresh perspective of corporate events that enhance success through experimental and unique experiences.

Driven by the Thailand 4.0 Policy, the national economic blueprint, TCEB has been prompted to redefine its roles in order to keep Thailand ahead of the competition in today’s fast-paced business landscape.

Nichapa Yoswee, senior vice president of TCEB, told the launch at Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld: “Building upon the three-year milestone of the Thailand CONNECT [campaign], which has been successfully highlighting Thailand’s position as a connecting point for business and international ties, key in the new branding strategy is to further spotlight Thailand as a fast-paced, innovative, and progressive business events destination in line with the Thailand 4.0 and the dynamic business landscape.”

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