Bangkok, 4 December 2014 - Highlighting the importance of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 and its implications, advantages and challenges for the MICE industry, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization), or TCEB, together with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has been assigned by the ASEAN Secretariat to develop the ASEAN MICE Venue Standard (AMVS), as well as to host the First Special Meeting on ASEAN MICE Venue Standard - Category: Meeting Room. By collaborating closely with all ASEAN member countries, TCEB aims to showcase the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) as a model to create a unified regional MICE Venue Standard for wider regional application.
Mr Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President of TCEB revealed that, “The First Special Meeting on ASEAN MICE Venue Standard (AMVS) - Category: Meeting Room provides a vital platform for ASEAN member countries to discuss the development of a MICE Venue Standard for our region. Previously, Thailand proposed that the Thailand MICE Venue Standard be used as a working model for AMVS. At this meeting, we are fortunate to have more than 30 top level representatives of MICE and tourism bodies from ASEAN member countries including Brunei, Singapore, the Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand.”
The special meeting of MICE and tourism members in ASEAN to promote and develop the MICE industry in ASEAN is in line with ASEAN’s nine strategic platforms, including 1. Trade Strategy, 2. Funding Strategy, 3. Branding Strategy, 4. Client Facilitation Strategy, 5. Dispersal Strategy, 6. Intra ASEAN Strategy, 7. Short Haul Market Strategy, 8. Integrated Marketing Strategy, and 9. Market Segmentation Strategy.
In January 2014, Thailand proposed the use of the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) as a working model to develop the ASEAN MICE Venue Standard (AMVS) to the ASEAN National Tourism Organizations. This led to the formation of the ASEAN Quality Tourism Working Group to oversee the development of the Standard and the group’s first meeting in Myanmar, in April. The discussion also included the proposed timeline and agreed that the development of the AMVS should follow the common mechanisms of all ASEAN Tourism Standards. Therefore, developing AMVS will include the standard criteria and requirements, audit checklists/guidelines, certification process, terms of reference of the certification body, pilot testing, and training for assessors/auditors. The First Special Meeting on ASEAN MICE Venue Standard (AMVS) - Category: Meeting Room was held in conjunction with the workshop on ASEAN Green Hotel Standard, and the ASEAN Spa Services Standard Auditor Training, aimed at driving region-wide standardisation of MICE and tourism services.
According to ASEAN Business Travel Marketing Strategies, in 2012, over 87 million international tourists travelled to the ASEAN region, and 46 per cent were tourists from ASEAN countries. The number of ASEAN travellers is expected to increase to 118.63 million in 2017, representing a 35 per cent increase from 2012. If the MICE industry were to contribute in a similar proportion to current levels, that would equate to 12 million arrivals in 2017 with 20 per cent growth in revenue from tourism. Focusing on Thailand’s MICE industry, in 2014 Thailand welcomed a total of 919,164 international MICE travellers, earning the Thai economy 80,800 million baht. Among the Top 10 source markets were several within the ASEAN region including Malaysia (69,034 MICE travellers), Singapore (66,956 MICE travellers), and Indonesia (33,325 MICE travellers).
As part of its commitment to driving the competitiveness of the MICE industry through the development of MICE Standards, TCEB foresees the importance of enhancing the capabilities of Thailand’s MICE products and services. To this end, we continue to promote the wider adoption of key industry standards, including ISO 50001 Energy Management, ISO 22000 Food Safety, TIS 22300 MICE Security Management, ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management Systems and Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS), to enable us to be the true hub for MICE in the region.
“Under the framework of the ASEAN MICE Venue Standard, member states will find mutual benefits both in terms of MICE and tourism promotion, the unified comprehensive standardisation for meeting rooms helping increase our competitive edge for the region, opening up new sales and marketing opportunities, as well as facilitating exchange of communication and trade among ASEAN MICE travellers and beyond,” Mr Nopparat concluded.
Following the First Special Meeting on ASEAN MICE Venue Standard (AMVS) - Category: Meeting Room, the discussion will lead to the preparation of ASEAN regional guidelines. It is expected that the implementation of the ASEAN MICE Venue Standard will take place within two years. As a model for the AMVS, the development of the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) has already rolled out. During the third and fourth quarters of the 2014 fiscal year (April - September 2014), TCEB conducted an evaluation among 80 MICE venues in target areas across the country in five MICE Cities (Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen), as well as Hat Yai. The Thailand MICE Venue Standard will be issued to certified venues from January 2015 onwards.
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