TCEB STRENGTHENS THAILAND’S MICE PRESENCE IN CHINA

Beijing / 28 May 2016 – The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization), or TCEB, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCIOC) with the objective of enhancing MICE cooperation between the two nations. The MOU will further strengthen Thailand’s leadership position as a premier destination at the heart of the fast-growing ASEAN region for MICE travellers from China, which is the Kingdom’s No. 1 source market.

In the fiscal year 2015 - from October 2014 to September 2015, Thailand attracted a total of 1,095,995 business events visitors and generated 95,857 million baht (US$2,697.62 million/ RMB 17,472.70 million) in revenue. From the total, there were 109,987 Chinese MICE travellers, contributing revenue of 9,197.65 million baht (US$258.84 million/RMB1,676.53 million), making China the top source market for MICE visitors. The momentum continued in the first half of the 2016 fiscal year – October 2015 to March 2016 – when 47,455 Chinese business events travellers generated a total of 4,020.94 million baht (US$113.16 million/RMB732.93 million) for the Thai economy.

Mr Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, president of TCEB said that, “Thailand and China have enjoyed more than 40 years of relations and mutual prosperity in which trade between the two nations now exceeds US$63 billion annually. Recognising Thailand’s potential and readiness on trade and investment, the Royal Thai Government under the leadership of Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-chia attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Beijing in late 2014 to discuss the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), among other discussions.

“Building on this success and in recognition of the importance of cooperation in the MICE industry, TCEB, as the Thai government’s official flagship body for the business events sector, always seeks out opportunities to initiate strategic partnerships with leading organisations like the CCIOC to further build long-term competitiveness and sustainability for the service sector in Thailand and our partner’s country in the international arena. This ground-breaking MOU will serve as a vital platform for us to exchange up-to-date MICE-related information while further enhancing the awareness of Thailand’s business events industry among the trade in China.”

The MOU signed between TCEB and CCOIC on 28 May 2016 has been initiated based on a the philosophy that deeper mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations as well as enhanced human, cultural and economic exchanges will improve and enhance the MICE industry. Under the terms of the agreement, TCEB and CCOIC have agreed to establish a long-term partnership in several areas and across several MICE platforms. This includes a plan to further improve and regularly exchange information on trade promotion, and guarantee a commitment to providing support and encouraging business trade missions and participating in trade events in both countries. There is also an aim to enhance and develop MICE knowledge in the two nations through information exchange and sharing of academic research activities.

Mr Nopparat added that, “TCEB has been working hard to enhance and connect with leading MICE players in the Chinese market and so attract larger events and meetings over the years. One of the main tools for this has been the on-going cooperation with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) to promote Thailand as a gateway for trade and investment as a way of attracting both Chinese business travellers and trade pavilions to attend trade fairs in Thailand. For meetings and incentives, TCEB is targeting high quality Chinese businesses to choose Thailand as a MICE destination, putting emphasis on key Chinese business hubs such as Beijing and Shanghai as well as on economic powerhouses such as Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen that are deemed as helping to expand the awareness to cities with growing economies and direct flights to Thailand, such as Hangzhou, Chongqing and Kunming.”

To strengthen Thailand’s presence as a premier meetings and incentives destination in the heart of the fast-growing ASEAN region, TCEB forecasts that the MICE cooperation with the CCIOC together with TCEB’s 2016 marketing initiatives including the Thailand CONNECT, Our Heart…Your World campaign as well as the on-going support other strategies will enable Thailand to welcome more business events especially the ‘MEGA SIZE’ events from China. The first support strategy is the “THAILAND BIG THANKS!” promotional campaign that offers a financial subsidy of up to 2 million Baht for groups of 2,000 or more overseas delegates who visit Thailand for three nights or longer to attend big meeting or incentive event in Thailand - applications are open from now until 30 September 2017, and travel can take place before 31 December 2017. Another strategy is the “THAILAND CONNECT beyond THE CAPITAL” promotional campaign for travelling in Thailand, offering a financial subsidy of 1,000 baht per delegates (maximum 300,000 baht per group) for groups of at least 100 delegates who visit Thailand for three nights or longer to attend meeting and incentive event in Thailand and fly domestic flight in Thailand with TCEB’s partner airlines (Thai Airways, Thai Smile Airways and Bangkok Airways) - applications are open from now until 30 September 2016, and travel needs to take place before 31 December 2016.

In terms of international trade fairs, TCEB’s marketing strategies gear towards both the visitors and the organisers. For visitors, TCEB is offering special support under the CONNECT Business campaign for trade visitor groups of 10 or more delegates who travel to attend TCEB-supported international events in Thailand. To quality for this special support of US$100 per person, the groups must stay a minimum of three days / two nights, with a combined total of at least 30 business matching appointments. For organisers, TCEB is providing special support for organisers looking to hold new events in Thailand. Recent activities are the on-going hosting of trade promoter workshop for visitors, and the arrangement for Thai MICE entrepreneurs to attend TCEB Exhibitions Business Forum 2016 in China in April. There is also a plan to entice organisers to organise Chinese trade fairs in Thailand, which has so far already materialised in an event from Guangzhou with approximately 400 visitors.

Looking ahead, TCEB forecasts that the rejuvenated Thailand CONNECT Welcome package 2016 together with other marketing initiatives will enable Thailand to achieve a five per cent increase over 2015 targets, welcoming 1,060,000 business travellers and earning the Thai economy a total of 92,000 million baht (US$2,589.07 million / RMB16,769.64 million) in the fiscal year 2016. Meanwhile, TCEB expects the number of Chinese business travellers and revenue earning from this important market to grow by five per cent.

To-date, large incentive groups from China that are confirmed to be held in Thailand between 2016 and 2017 have included the 14,000-pax Infinitus China Overseas Incentive in May 2016 in Bangkok and Pattaya, the 5,500-pax Pro-Health China Incentive in September 2016 in Phuket, and the 12,000-pax Jeunesse Global Conference in August 2017 in Bangkok. TCEB will also be supporting the 11th China Incentives, Business Travel Meeting (CIBTM) to be held in Beijing in September 2016.

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For more information please contact:

Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organisation)

Ms Arisara Thanuplang    Tel +66 2 694 6095    Email: arisara_t@tceb.or.th

Ms Kanokwan Kadeedang    Tel +66 2 694 6006    Email: kanokwan_k@tceb.or.th

Ms Kwanchanok Otton    Tel +66 2 694 6096    Email: kwanchanok_o@tceb.or.th

Ms Paniyada Mulalin    Tel +66 2 694 6091    Email: paniyada_m@tceb.or.th