March 21, 2024: TCEB partners with four associations to elevate Thai festivals on the global stage. The initiative is aligned with the national strategic plan to leverage cultural capital for the economy. The partnership focuses on transforming festivals into a platform to generate business opportunities and attract high-spending international attendees. The move is built upon the five-year success of sponsoring over 100 festivals, contributing over 50 billion baht to the economy.

Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, stated that TCEB is rolling out a policy this year to elevate Thailand's festivals into a key driver of economic growth and make Thailand a premier festival destination. This policy aligns with the national strategic plan to leverage cultural capital to boost the economy. Previously, festivals served to briefly promote the domestic economy. The current approach signifies a shift towards using festivals as platforms to expand business opportunities, catering to high-spending attendees seeking specific events and unique experiences. The focus will position Thailand as a top festival destination.

Towards this goal, three key pillars will be implemented to create a 'Constructive Ecosystem' for the organization of festivals:

1. Bidding for and securing world-class events like International Horticultural Expo 2029 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Formula E race in Chiang Mai, and proposing Thailand to host the WorldPride event. These efforts align with the government's policy in positioning Thailand as the global festival stage. This pillar will create a network for Thai manpower in Soft Sector as it will provide a platform for them to participate and get inspiration while generating economic benefits.

2. Supporting business festivals in order that the festivals are not mere gatherings but platforms for business opportunities that will help grow industry in several sectors. With this pillar, festivals will open doors for new generation and innovative ideas, elevating personnel standards, and simultaneously building an ecosystem within the industry.

3. Festival Academy, which has been ongoing for three years and will continue to empower partner associations and elevate their members' capabilities. For example, the Festival Creative Lab provides a platform for nationwide festival organizers to share experiences, get inspiration, form network both domestically and globally.

"These three pillars are essential for TCEB to reshape the landscape and establish a festival ecosystem in Thailand that is aligned with global standards. It entails enhancing the country's reputation through event biddings, creating business elements in  the  organization  of festivals, creating added value for Thailand's exceptional content, and enhancing personnel capabilities for global competition," said Mr. Chiruit.

Mr. Boonperm Inthanapasat, Chairman of the Thailand International Events and Festivals Trade Association (TIEFA), said, "Business festivals are a growing trend, generating income through a ripple effect across the economy. The content featured in these events constitutes intellectual property work capable of bringing success to organizers, host cities, and stakeholders. With a defined target audience, they ensure sustainability by fostering stakeholder connections, paving the way for the next legacy for organizers and festival venues."

Mr. Rut Jiroajvanichakorn, President of the Thai Mass Participation Sports Trade Association (TMPSA), stated, "Marathon running is among the global mega-trends post-pandemic, with the growth rate of marathon runners resuming its rapid acceleration and becoming the mainstay of sports tourism. This trend presents a golden opportunity for Thailand to become a regional hub for hosting marathons in the region. By weaving the power of Thai tradition and culture into world-class running events and with support from all sectors, I am confident that we can create solid soft power from marathon, attracting high-spending global visitors to Thailand."

Mr. Attaphol Jayadat, President of the Thailand Entertainment Creators Network Association (TECNA), said, "Festivals are more than just entertainment platforms; they are essential tools for supporting and strengthening the growth and sustainability of the entertainment industry. Organizing festivals provides opportunities for content creators to showcase talents, contributing to entertainment industry promotion and development. Moreover, festivals offer networking opportunities and skill enhancement for industry manpower, driving sustainable growth and gaining recognition from global market."

Mrs. Varinda Thienachariya, President of the Contemporary Art & Culture Industry Promotion Trade Association (CAPT), said, "Arts and culture are essential aspects of the Festival Economy. Arts festivals continuously attract travelers worldwide to appreciate the evolving creativity of Thai artists as they gain international recognition, with often invitation to exhibit abroad. Moreover, Thailand's art festivals have garnered attention globally, resulting in cooperation network with other world-class festivals. Recognizing arts as the upstream of the creative industry, it's gratifying that TCEB as a government agency is prioritizing knowledge promotion and facilitate event organization, ultimately inspiring creators across various sectors."

The festival policy announcement aims to enhance business opportunities in the festival sector and position Thailand as a global hub for top-tier festivals. This initiative expands on TCEB's previous collaboration in creating festivals with cities, communities, organizers, and four partner associations representing key business sectors in arts, culture, lifestyle, entertainment, sports, and innovation. These partners include the Thailand International Events and Festivals Trade Association (TIEFA), the Thai Mass Participation Sports Trade Association (TMPSA), the Thailand Entertainment Creators Network Association (TECNA), and the Contemporary Art & Culture Industry Promotion Trade Association (CAPT). TCEB has sponsored more than 100 festivals, greatly benefiting Thailand's economy with over 50 billion baht in the past five years.

TCEB also plans to support over 30 more festivals, aiming to attract 2.3 million  travelers, comprising both Thai and international participants. These events are expected to generate economic benefits of at least 3.6 billion baht and contribute over 5.8 billion baht to Thailand's GDP.

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