New directions for the coming year to add MICE value through Thailand’s cultural capital.
The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has unveiled the scheme to create a value-added Thai MICE industry. Three key sectors will make a start by injecting cultural capital into their deliveries to develop long-term strength and attract 23.2 million MICE travellers, generating 140 billion baht (USD 3.9 billion) in revenue by the end of 2024.
Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of TCEB, disclosed that TCEB’s directions in driving the Thai MICE industry aim to respond to the shifting needs in both local and international markets as the shifts have prompted the business sector to adjust to survive and maintain competitive advantages.
With such a business landscape, TCEB invested funds to conduct research titled “MICE Foresight” to study the future of the MICE industry and envision the directions that formulate the guidelines in making strategic plans.
According to the research results, TCEB’s performances throughout the 21 years of its establishment have been successful. The bureau has won 442 bids for world events and has supported more than 6,300 local and international MICE events in combination. Such performances have generated and injected at least 63,000 million baht into the Thai economy.
In the research, 650 MICE entrepreneurs worldwide have selected Thailand as the top-of-mind destination compared to 14 other Asian countries, followed by Japan and Singapore. Thailand has been rated prominently in value for money, uniqueness, readiness in accommodating and recognised brand as a MICE destination.
Decreasing business travel, shorter travel periods, requirements for MICE innovation, new venues, new experiences, new business goals and environmental sustainability are just some of the evolving needs that the industry faces.
For those reasons, TCEB has determined the future directions of the industry, focusing on transforming Thailand into a High Value-Added Destination, developing new strategies where Thai unique identities will be integrated through innovation and creativity, and solidifying cooperation with related stakeholders in every sector.
“Our directions will ensure distinctive uniqueness and value for MICE activities held in Thailand. We strongly hope that in the next ten years, the image of the Thai MICE industry will shine brightly as a High Value-Added Destination, and that will boost the role of Thailand as the Springboard of ASIA’s Growth that successfully stimulates the MICE industry across Asia and ensure growth and stability of the business sector.”
For TCEB’s 2024 operation that will be a stepping stone towards the Springboard of ASIA’s Growth, the three departments of the bureau will take charge as follows:
- Mega Events and Festivals – Through the years, TCEB has supported over 100 festivals, generating over 50,000 million in circulation for the Thai economy. The future directions of this department will be executed by using social, cultural, and economic capital or Soft Power as a creator of 360-degree value. The value will entail a unique and priceless experience, becoming a new selling point through collaboration. The department, however, has a Quick Win measure for 2024, consisting of proactive overseas marketing. The focus will be building a network through one-on-one meeting roadshows alongside a platform to take on challenges, enabling the formation of a network and opportunities on the world stage.
- International Exhibition – According to the report of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry or UFI, Thailand was ranked No.1 in ASEAN and No.4 in Asia in terms of exhibition spaces in 2022. In 2023, exhibitions have been a key factor in increasing revenue and the number of foreign MICE travellers entering Thailand. The number of both categories has immensely surpassed the target by 68 per cent, or equivalent to the revenue of 2019, which was the year with a record high of revenue before the COVID-19 outbreak. The department has been preparing for competitive advantage by producing a tool to help penetrate the target group in a less competitive market (Blue Ocean). This approach will create and expand business opportunities on a sustainable basis.
- Domestic MICE Market – In 2023, domestic MICE travellers will account for 16.5 million, equivalent to 95 per cent of overall local and overseas MICE travellers, generating 50,000 million baht of revenue. The domestic market serves as a crucial foundation in strengthening Thailand’s MICE industry, helping to curb risks from uncontrollable external factors and promoting the domestic economy. The department has, therefore, made preparations to drive Destination Readiness and create an Authentic Experience. This approach will connect all 10 MICE Cities. In addition, a campaign to promote the domestic market will be launched as part of a driver of the whole market.
It is estimated that, by the end of the fiscal year 2024, Thailand will welcome 960,000 overseas travellers, generating 63 billion baht in revenue, and 22.2 million domestic MICE travellers to generate 73 billion baht in revenue.