Home' micenet eMag : micenet April 2018 Contents T
hailand may have slipped from
front-of-mind as an Australian
conference and events destina-
tion. However, Thailand Convention
and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) director
meetings and incentives, Khun Nooch
Homrossukhon was in Australia in February to
attend TCEB MICE roadshows in Sydney and
Melbourne. micenet spoke to her to get us up
to speed on where they are now and why
planners should be thinking of Thailand for
Q. From statistics over the past 10
years, Thailand has generated approximately
B150 billion (AUD 5 billion) in revenue from
the MICE industry, both domestic and
international, created approximately 164,000
jobs, and resulted in around B10.5 bn in tax
revenue. What is TCEB forecasting in terms
of growth for this year?
A. “We are looking at five per cent
growth which is line with the overall GDP
growth for the region. We need to be realistic
with our goals.
Q. Is Australian MICE an important geo
source feeder market for Thailand?
A. Yes, it is. Australia used to be in our
top ten source markets. It dropped a little bit
recently but we are very sure that the local
representative (Clockwise Consulting) is a
very effective one and will bring Australia
back to the top ten. Right now, it is single
digit growth, but we’re okay with that.
Q. Given the five year strategy outlined
by TCEB last year, one of the “Quick Win”
strategies is to help distribute economic
development to other regions of Thailand
beyond the well-known five “MICE Cities”.
What other destinations is Thailand
promoting this year and next?
A. Apart from those cities - Bangkok,
Pattaya, Phuket, Chang Mai and also Khon
Kaen, we have begun to introduce alternative
destinations. For example, if people have
been to Pattaya many times due to the short
distance from the capital or from a logistics
point of view, there is also Hua Hin, just two
or three hours’ drive from Bangkok. It is a
weekend destination for Bangkok residents
and an upscale retreat for Thailand’s royalty.
Apart from Phuket, on the Andaman Sea
side, we have introduced Krabi where MICE
facilities and big international chain hotels are
able to take care of groups. It’s a beach
destination where motorised water sport
activities are not allowed, so it’s much quieter
and fits a different kind of clientele. Then on
the other side of the sea we have Kho Samui
which used to be a back-packer island but
has now gone up market.
This year we are organising a mega fam
trip from long haul destinations to Samui in
combination with Bangkok in June. It’s for
PCOs and a limited number of media from
Australia, European countries and the U.S.
Q. With TCEB’s commitment to digital
advancement, and Thailand 4.0, what new
technology is TCEB employing to promote
A. We built the application called Smart
MICE, an open platform for all organisers to
make use of when they organise events in
Q. As MICE business grows to Thailand,
experienced staffing is important to deliver to
the dream. What is Thailand doing in terms of
capability development for the industry?
A. We have a dedicated MICE Capabilities
Department. They have a series of strategies
and action plans and one of these is to build
the abilities of people in the industry who have
already introduced the MICE curriculum to the
students. There will be dedicated MICE
specific courses, apart from those given by the
hotel and tourism industries and those
dedicated to trade education. We are bringing
in international certification such as SITE etc. to
uplift the professionalism in the industry.
Q. With TCEB’s annual Sustainability
Forum and support of the famil and function
programs, are there more CSR and eco
experiences available for the MICE visitor?
A. We have a series of CSR activities
that we recommend when they want to
incorporate a CSR activity within an itinerary,
depending on where they want to go. We try
to engage the local community because
once they are, they will take care of the
project to make it more sustainable. For
example, when we released the sea turtles
back into the ocean, the Marine Department
put a chip into the turtle so we can track if
they survive or not.
Q. What MICE destinations in Thailand
is TCEB focusing most of the marketing
efforts on in 2018?
A. To be honest, Asia/Pacific is always
our top source market so we put more effort
into this region.
Q. In Australia we haven’t seen or heard
a lot about Thailand in the past few years?
A. It’s true, but now we have found the
right people in Australia to market the country.
Q. Why should planners think of
Thailand for their meeting and incentives?
A. For the unique experience. The
competition is getting fiercer but where we
feel we can beat other destinations, is in
hospitality – the soft touch. A very
professional touch and we are quite flexible
and adaptable. We offer the special offsite
venues, not just an event in a ballroom.
In conclusion Khun Nooch said, “I really
believe in the potential of this market. I am
very sure that Thailand has a lot to offer and
we can accommodate whatever Australians
are looking for.
We understand Australian people and we
are embracing the differences.” m
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