Redefine your team building programmes with Thailand’s latest MICE destinations.

With the resumption of incentive travel, companies are now opening up their coffers to ramp up efforts in creating incentive travel programmes that have a powerful impact on motivation, retention and performance.

Incentive travel organisers are now spoilt for choice since Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) announced its 10 Thai MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) cities last year. To enhance Thailand’s appeal, the bureau spent years collaborating with various provinces to develop their status as MICE cities, while existing MICE cities upgraded their services, products and festivals.

Here are some lesser-known cities and their top recommended experiences you can take inspiration.

Songkhla

Over the last few decades, Songkhla has rapidly developed into a unique attraction with many amazing seaside resort towns. It is blessed with natural resources such as fine beaches, enchanting waterfalls, and a tranquil lake. The old town of Songkhla maintains its unique identity of ancient and historical flavours through local architecture and cuisine. Endowed with ancient ruins and places of cultural importance, the province is a melting pot of Thais, Chinese and Malays, and charms visitors with its unique traditions, dialect, and folk entertainment.

The city’s well-known Hat Yai district serves as a southern hub of communication, trading and transportation as well as a gateway to Malaysia and Singapore, allowing it to gain importance as the driving force of economic growth in the southern region.

Incentive groups can fill their stomachs at the Songkhla Old Town with a variety of breakfast menus in multicultural styles, such as rice and stew, steamed stuff bun, dim sum, boiled rice with fish, pork ribs or Nasi Dagang (coconut rice, fish curry and pickled vegetables) which is the highlight dish of Songkhla.

The Phathamrong Museum is said to be one of the must-sees in Songkhla’s old city to learn about the city’s history. The city is also plastered with numerous street murals, which depict local traditions and way of life – passed on from generation to generation as valuable remembrance.

To add on, MICE travellers can stop by Phra That Chedi the Lighthouse and Sala Phra Wihan Daeng the Red Pavilion at Tang Kuan Mountain to take a commemorative photo from the 360-viewpoint that shows off the whole city. For the people of Songkhla, these areas are considered sacred and have been enshrined with the chedi of Phra That Khu Mueang since ancient times.

The International Convention Center (ICC Hat Yai), which spans 9,000 sqm, is certified Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS), pays tribute to The 60th Anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne and has adopted the occasion as part of its official convention centre name.

Surat Thani

In Surat Thani, MICE travellers can start their day with a wholesome breakfast. Dry porridge, dim sum, steamed buns, bak kut teh, and traditional tea and coffee are just a few examples of the extensive spread.

Groups can then take a boat trip to Khanam Noi Hoi Yai and discover how the locals live and their daily routines. Learn how to farm oysters and cockles the traditional way at the estuary, and have a delicious fresh seafood meal featuring sea bass, grouper, and crabs. The large oysters from Surat Thani – Thailand’s best oyster farm – are said to be a must-try.

Next, visit the Khlong Noi Subdistrict Tourism Community Enterprise’s Monkey Training Demonstration Center for Agriculture. Learn how to process local fruits such as santol and taste different types of santol harvested fresh from the community garden. Spend the evening on a boat trip to see the orchards.

Seminars can be held at Vajiralongkorn Auditorium, Surat Thani Rajabhat University, which occupies 9,000 sqm of the utility space and supports up to 5,000 people. This is one of the venues certified with TMVS of Surat Thani Province.

Phitsanulok

Enjoy the delectable local breakfast at Klong Sub Rung Community-Based Tourism Centre. The community spans an area of 4.8 million sqm, cultivating the prized mangoes sold around the country. MICE travellers can then help transform the delicious Thai mangoes into various forms, including mango jams, ready-to-drink juices and one of Thailand’s most popular baked goods – the classic mango bun.

Visitors can also enjoy a diverse menu for dinner at Phitsanulok Walking Street, which is open only on Saturdays. Explore the stalls selling iconic dishes, along with local treats such as processed agricultural products, fresh seasonal fruits, and OTOP products.

Next, visit the OTOP Nawatwithi Community-Based Tourism in Ban Mung, a small village in Noen Maprang District. The highlighted activities here include taking an unforgettable E-taen Thai tractor or bike ride while admiring the raw beauty of nature. Learn about the unique geology of the local area and encounter 360-million-year-old sea fossils that were discovered in a cave.

Nakhon Ratchasima

Nakhon Ratchasima is one of the four major cities of Isan, Thailand, known as the “big four of Isan”. Commonly known as Korat, a shortened form of its name, the city terms its unique selling point (USP) as ‘MICE City and The World Heritage, The Heart of the Northeast’s Economy and Tourism’. Those USPs are based on the province’s five distinctive features:

  • The centre of manufacturing and agricultural product processing
  • A wide variety of natural attractions
  • A great number of man-made tourist spots
  • The centre of the region’s commerce and shopping
  • Unique culture, tradition and archaeological sites

Incentive groups can visit one of the leading wine producers in Thailand at GranMonte Vineyard and Winery, where they can sample different grape varieties including Shiraz, Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The visit includes access to the tasting room, as well as some tempting homemade cuisine.

Alternatively, groups can join a workshop on cooking authentic local dishes and have breakfast at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University. Try original Korat dishes such as Pradoke Thai vermicelli, Korat-style grilled chicken, Korat-style som tam, and Korat stir-fried noodles. These will be served on the Toh Korat (Korat Table), where a rotating bamboo tray and betel nut containers are used instead of modern wares.

Udon Thani

As the provincial capital city in northeast Thailand, Udon Thani is home to the Wat Phothisomphon Buddhist temple complex from the 1800s that houses a 21st-century pagoda. This part of Thailand gets cold at the end of the year, which is why its climate allows the land to grow a breed of orchids that is renowned for their fragrance.

Arrive at Khiri Wong Kot Village – the eco-tourism community where visitors can enjoy MICE team-building activities amid nature. That is the only place in Thailand for adventurous activities like E-Tak rafting. Learn about organic agriculture and experience more authentic Isan cuisine. The village also offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from homestays, and resorts, to even camping.

Visit the Thai-Chinese Cultural Center, a place for preserving the arts, culture, and philosophy of the ancient Thai-Chinese. This museum presents exquisite traditional Chinese architecture brought over by those who settled in Udon Thani over 120 years ago and has a comprehensive exhibition displaying the history of the community.

The possibilities in Thailand are only limited to our imagination. The range of activities has long allowed MICE travellers worldwide to gain genuine experiences in Thailand while ticking all the boxes of their objectives.

Connect with the BEAM team via hello@untangledgroup.com and let us help you BEAM!

Gina Sin

Author Gina Sin

A sales & marketing professional at her core, Gina has found her passion in writing, particularly in crafting an important part of the communication circle, and enhancing experiences, whether singular or shared. An expert in digital media, partnership activation, and in executing the readability and searchability of websites, Gina combines her skills in sales, marketing and copywriting into her everyday.

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