By Gerardine Donough-Tan

The “New Normal MICE – Sustainable Growth” plan launched by Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) in October clearly distinguishes between domestic and international events, and targets trade shows in particular in the latter strategy.

With incentive travel dormant amid travel restrictions in many countries – including Thailand – prospects are a bit brighter in the business segment as economies pick up and companies seek new opportunities.

TCEB is developing plans and campaigns in preparation for the reopening of international borders. Once international travel is allowed, support schemes will be ready for clients, the timeframe being adapted to suit individual circumstances.

Read about TCEB’s plans below.

‘Thailand LOG-IN’ – and business beyond Bangkok

“Thailand LOG-IN Event” is an industry master plan of the Exhibition Department to attract, create or expand the profile of trade shows in the logistics and infrastructure sectors: air, land (road and rail), marine and digital. This is in line with national strategic development, one aspect being investments to upgrade Thailand’s logistics and infrastructure.

TCEB will support and facilitate public and private organisations in expanding their existing trade shows or bidding for new international shows, and to locate them in different regions of Thailand, such as the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

New exhibitions in logistics and infrastructure must be located in the EEC which covers three provinces – Chachoengsao, Chonburi (where Pattaya is located) and Rayong. However, existing shows in this sector that are expanding in reach and size can be located in other locations, such as Bangkok and elsewhere.

While TCEB support and assistance are available to both local and foreign PCOs and PEOs, to bid for or organise an exhibition, international PEOs must team up with a local Thai partner.

MICE ecosystem development

By end-2021, TCEB plans to have a one-stop service centre to provide information and facilitate MICE events in Thailand. The centre will use digital technologies to integrate services, facilitate regulatory compliance, provide MICE event services to government agencies, and assist MICE visitors with services such as MICE Lane, Fast Track, Visa on Arrival, and related healthcare.

TCEB is implementing a series of measures, including the development of Virtual Meeting Space (VMS) as a platform for online and hybrid MICE events, to help MICE operators get through the crisis. Since its launch at the end of May, 20 events have used the VMS to conduct webinars and offline-to-online activities.

Overall, TCEB support is being given to 70 MICE events, underscoring the importance of MICE as a key mechanism to stimulate Thailand’s economy and signifies the strong cooperation between the public and private sectors. From October 2019 to September 2020, Thailand welcomed about 500,000 international MICE visitors who generated 29.8 billion baht (A$1.34 billion) in revenue.

TCEB is also considering an interesting initiative – a ‘Festival Economy’ where mega events and festivals will be held to create economic heritage, add value and promote economic, social and environmental development in different provinces.

It hopes to attract both the local market and foreign businesses. A key element is to find overseas festivals with potential to be located in Thailand.

Any event organisers from Australasia and Asia keen to transplant hallmark festivals to Thailand?