GIBTM: Five-fold increase in Middle East MICE bookings to Thailand
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organisation), or TCEB, highlighted the importance of the Middle East region, during an announcement at the Gulf Incentive Business Travel Meetings (GIBTM) exhibition currently being held in Abu Dhabi.
“TCEB’s presence at GIBTM 2014 demonstrates the importance we place on this region as part of our international outreach program. In 2013 we welcomed more than one million MICE travellers from all over the world, including 15,000 from the Middle East, a number we expect to grow by 5 per cent in 2014,” said Parichat Svetasreni, director of marketing and corporate image at TCEB.
“Asia was the best performing region accounting for 72% of Thailand’s MICE visitors, and grew strongly by 20.25% last year. We forecast growth in MICE visitor numbers of 5% a total of 987,000 visitors by this year-end, with revenues up by 10% to US$ 3.23 billion,” added Parichat.
To support the drive for increased MICE visitors, the TCEB also announced the introduction of the special ‘Thailand’s MICE Rewards’ package which runs from now until September 2014.
Key elements of the ‘Thailand’s MICE Rewards’ scheme include ‘Meetings Bonus’, which offers organisers generous discounts for groups of 200 or more delegates visiting Thailand for three nights or longer to attend corporate meetings or incentive travel; and the ‘Conventions Bonus’, which offers associations, PCOs, governments and educational institutions significant discounts for groups of 300 or more delegates to international conventions held in Thailand.
Complementing these are TCEB’s ‘Business Up 2 U’ initiative, a fixed subsidy programme for exhibitions based on their previous years’ performance which offers them TCEB’s guaranteed support; and ‘Be My Guest’, which aims to attract high-quality, international exhibition buyers and visitors with financial support for room night allocation, up to a maximum of two room nights per person per exhibition.
The scheme has been introduced at the end of a challenging time for the industry, Svetasreni noted. “Earlier this month, anti-government demonstrators ended their campaign and confined activities to just a few areas, so roads in central Bangkok are once again operating normally. We are confident that with our full support, business travellers will find comfort in our genuine Thai hospitality and world-class facilities.”
Complementing the scheme is TCEB’s online marketing plan 2014, with 3 key campaigns. In recognition of the potential of online media to empower Thailand’s MICE industry to offer relevant information to target groups worldwide, the online marketing plan aims to enhance Thailand’s image and create awareness of Thailand as the premiere destination for MICE among international markets.
“Our online marketing plan prioritises participation in online marketing activities by the private sector of the MICE industry, including organisers, MICE travellers, foreign business partners and entrepreneurs,” Svetasreni added.