Almost two months after the latest political turmoil rocked the country, the business events industry is working in earnest to bring back confidence in Thailand as an attractive destination for corporate meetings and incentives.
With the support of TCEB (Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau), destination management companies across Thailand are providing extra perks for visiting business groups. Companies on a site inspection are provided complimentary inland transportation for three days for up to two people.
When a group flies into the country, we have a MICE fast track lane that allows groups to enjoy expedited process at immigrations and customs. What’s more, we provide the group with a mobile phone for the duration of their stay so that they can enjoy complimentary local calls. We also give them a hospitality desk with one experienced staff to man their event venue from 9am to 5pm.
These perks given to international business events groups coming to the country fall under the government’s “Thailand Maximize Promotion”, which runs until March 2011.
However, the immediate task at hand is to send the message that the country is a safe and secure place to visit.
For my company, it is now standard practice to provide a business continuity plan to the client when we are pitching the event. This way, the client is reassured that we know exactly what to do to prevent them from getting stuck in Bangkok or anywhere in Thailand in case of any disruption, whether natural or man-made.
Furthermore, we are giving regular updates to our clients, keeping them informed of what’s happening on the ground.
Admittedly, it will take longer – probably about a quarter of a year – to get groups back to the level that they were previously.
But we in the industry are in no doubt that the market will recover. Event organisers are familiar with Thailand and the value for money that we can offer to events that are hosted here. They also know we have been here for so long that it is second nature for us to be in the hospitality industry. We are not going away anytime soon.