Surat Thani's enchantment lies in the variety of gorgeous places including sandy beaches, spectacular seascapes. Apart from that, what stands out the most in the memories of valuable travelers is Koh Samui Island, everytime they revisit the city. Also, there is the equally astonishing Koh Phangan Island, which is highly notable for its rich and peaceful nature. Moreover, this island is also the birthplace of the reputed Full Moon Party which is periodically held on full moon nights. Unexpectedly, we would have run into travelers from all over the world in this energetic party. On the other hand, there is Koh Tao Island and its hospitality locals that are quietly awaiting to welcome travelers of all lifestyles. In addition, this island has the most beautiful underwater scenery in Thailand, which is suitable for both scuba diving and snorkeling activities. It has the most beautiful marine lives and lively coral reefs that travelers who get to observe will be amazed. Furthermore, there is Chiew Lan Dam, located in Khao Sok National Park which has a stunning endlessly surrounding misty mountain above the water scenery along with scattered limestone cliffs surrounding the dam. There are various activities to spend time with, such as snorkeling and feeding the dazzling harmless fishes, or kayaking is also the place’s popular activity. The province is very convenient to access as there are two airports, which has an immense positive impact upon driving the economy.
Koh Samui Island is another place travelers should not miss, there are a range of indoor and outdoor areas suitable for holding events among nature, altogether with various outdoor activities. Therefore, Koh Samui Island is considered to be more than ready to welcome both domestic and international MICE travelers. According to the latest information, as of January 1st, 2020, there are 690 hotels on the island with approximately up to 26,000 rooms, and more than 30 meeting/seminar rooms which are suitable to accommodate attendees ranging from 30-500 people. Thus, they will certainly satisfy the needs for holding events or meeting from small to medium size groups in an exclusive experience.
There is no denying that Surat Thani Province has an immense potential to hold the MICE events with Koh Samui Island at the forefront in the matter of attracting customers. This has resulted in the project named "MICE at sea, we go to Samui", which originated from the City Co-Creation Strategy that is also in collaboration with local MICE business operators. There will be a product development which will be based on the various specific identities of the “Thailand 7 MICE Magnificent Themes” which consists of an Exhilarating Adventures, Culinary Journeys, Learning and Conservation (CSR and Green Meetings), Fascinating History and Culture, Treasured Team Building, Lavish Luxury, and lastly never forget to promote the city’s specific identity known as The City of a Hundred Islands with the Beach Bliss way.
The TCEB had begun to examine the identity of Surat Thani Province. Most importantly, everything has to correspond with the ever-changing circumstances of the travelling methods and essential requirements after the COVID-19 crisis. First off, the city must look forward to welcoming those domestic travelers in the form of conference groups in order to compensate the vanishing foreign travelers. Those foreign travelers which originally dominated over 90% the amount of overall travelers, then, this number suddenly vanished because of the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, it is inevitable to have a swift adjustment regarding the city’s travel industry strategy. The city must abruptly relocate the city’s travel industry focus upon the domestic travelers market. To be more specific, the city must focus on conference group travelers with the demand in holding meetings or seminars and had set this strategy as an “urgent matter” in the city’s agenda. That hopefully will help push more MICE service businesses especially on Koh Samui Islands. Due to the Pre-Covid time, 90% of travelers visiting Koh Samui Island are foreign private traveler groups, while conference group travelers are at 10% only. Thus, all private MICE and local business operators are collaborating with a unity set of strategies which aims to attract more conference group travelers. In addition, the city is focused on attracting the most possible number of domestic private travelers into the province in the hopes that the city will be able to speed up the recovery of Koh Samui's tourism economy after it has just been immensely damaged from the COVID-19 crisis. However, the city’s long-term tourism economy strategy aims to restructure the proportion of travelers visiting Koh Samui Island by balancing the FIT group and the conference group travelers equally at 50% each, while 20% of the subdivide conference group will be MICE travelers and the other 30% are general group of travelers. Additionally, TCEB also agrees to work in close collaboration with the private sector of Koh Samui Island tourism in the hope of effectively bringing back conference group travelers from Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, which are all the former customer base which previously vanished.
In a nutshell, Surat Thani Province is the city of a hundred islands that has an immense potential to develop in accordance with the swift changes of the world’s current situation after the COVID-19 crisis. Still, the city remains first in the minds of many invaluable travelers from all over the world who are determined to revisit this city once more as the crisis situation relieves.
26 March 2021, Bangkok: TCEB launches “MICE Winnovation” project to promote the utilisation of innovation and technology in organising MICE events. Four key project features are designed to match MICE entrepreneurs and tech entrepreneurs: platform showcasing products and services of tech entrepreneurs, business negotiation platform, funding support package and workshops aiming to enhance efficiency in new normal MICE operation with innovation and technology.
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