From international chains to home-grown boutique brands, fresh new accommodation abounds, with new hotel openings in 2013-2014 focused in the Ploenchit/Sukhumvit, Silom/Sathorn and Chao Phraya Riverside districts. The city’s modern and efficient transport links are also being enhanced, with new routes totalling 508 kilometres (316 miles) being progressively completed by 2029. In terms of venues, Bangkok boasts five world-class convention and exhibition centres endorsed by the Union des Foires International (UFI). These are soon to be complemented by BITEC’s Bt6 billion expansion, Bt3 billion of which will be used to construct an exhibition, convention and concert hall, which will become one of the largest in the country by 2016. New and proposed attractions include luxury shopping malls such as the recently opened Central Embassy and soon-to-be-constructed District-Em and Bangkok Mall, as well as entertainment hubs including ICONSIAM, Tha Maharaj and an expanded Asiatique the Riverfront.
Chiang Mai – Thailand’s ‘Rose of the North’ – captivates visitors thanks to its cosmopolitan nature, moderate climate, and thriving arts and culture scene. The ‘Hip & Heritage’ MICE Capital of the North offers an unbeatable combination of modern infrastructure, state-of-the-art venues, five-star and boutique accommodation, and attractions that are both richly historic and contemporary. Set to become a hub of ASEAN’s MICE industry by 2017 under the three-phase, government-back Chiang Mai MICE Development Roadmap (2013-2017), the city’s infrastructure is also being enhanced to anticipate demand. The three-phase expansion of Chiang Mai International Airport, and a proposed high-speed train from Bangkok-Chiang Mai are among these projects. Developments already complete include the newly opened Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Centre – with the capacity to host 10,000 MICE visitors – new luxury accommodation and attractions such as the Thailand Creative and Design Centre, Promenade Resort Mall and Maya Shopping Mall.
“Both Bangkok and Chiang Mai play pivotal roles in making Thailand a hub of the ASEAN MICE industry. As we move towards full implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, this unbeatable combination of ‘hip & heritage’ will boost our standing even further,” Ms. Supawan added.
Mr Charles Pamonmontri, Director Thailand Sales Services Department, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited stated that, “Thai Airways has long realised the strategic importance of the MICE industry and has continuously supported the sector. The most important factor for driving growth in the industry lies in confidence. In developed markets, MICE businesses continue to flourish because of the confidence both entrepreneurs and buyers have in such destinations. In this way, Thai Airways can see great synergy among partners in reasserting confidence and reinvigorating Thailand’s image as a premiere MICE destination. Thai Airways is committed to leveraging the success of the campaign by offering support with promotions, roadshows and complementary or specially-priced air tickets on routes that the airline flies.”
The Thailand CONNECT: Hip & Heritage Business Events programme forms part of Thailand’s MICE UNITED, a strategic partnership programme designed to reinvigorate the country’s positive image and reaffirm confidence among the international business community. Combined, it is expected that Thailand will welcome 888,210 MICE visitors in 2014, earning the Thai economy a total of US$2.9 billion.
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