THAILAND’s efforts to welcome back international business events groups has taken another step forward with the lifting of a nationwide, and the further easing of other measures put in place to contain Covid-19 outbreaks
Plans are being discussed to reopen Thailand to foreign visitors with the use of inter-regional “travel bubbles” with markets that have also managed to contain the virus, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration.
The developments come as Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau unveils and new campaign to stimulate the return of international incentive and corporate meeting groups called “I M People Focused”.
TCEB has also launched a new grant for organisers called EASE UP to help stimulate the business events market. Planners can access up to US$500,000 worth of financial support from TCEB and an equivalent value in complimentary products and services from participating partners.
The latest moves, part of the fourth-phase of measures to ease Covid restrictions, have been welcomed by Thailand’s incentive and events organisers including SITE.
“This campaign has come at a right time. Incentive travel and meetings are important revenue streams to Thailand,” said Max Boontawee Jantasuwan, president of SITE Thailand.
“We hope that as Thailand eases inbound travel restrictions, our regional supporters from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Australia can return to experience our authentic hospitality once again,” Boon said.
David Barrett, consultant at Bangkok-based DBC Asia, said the moves by the government and TCEB would initially encourage Thai corporates and provide a “reboot” to the kingdom’s MICE industry.
“TCEB has done a stellar job in providing information, guidance and representing the industry during the crisis. And the Thai government’s easing of gathering restrictions to allow business events to proceed can only be a boost for the industry,” Barrett told MIX.
“The first movers will be Thai corporates and we need to make it easy for companies to plan their meeting. The industry needs a quick reboot and the government’s positive actions to ease restrictions is a good step.”