As we bid goodbye to 2020, we look back on a year of unprecedented challenges to public health, one that has caused great social disruption and economic devastation. With so many of our MICE-related enterprises facing an existential threat, I can proudly say how amazed I am at the resilience of our members, who continue to flash the famed Thai smiles, even during these difficult times. But as is normal in this ever-changing world, tomorrow will always bring hope for a brighter future, which I’m glad to say will soon turn into reality.
Firstly, 2021 will herald in ‘The Year of Convention’ where TCEB, with the close cooperation of TICA, will concentrate much of its efforts in the Asia Pacific and domestic markets to uplift Thailand’s meetings and conventions to new heights. The year will focus on homegrown conventions, regional conventions, and hybrid and virtual conventions and meetings. Within a short period of 3 years, we aim to improve the country’s ranking to 4th overall in Asia, which is very achievable with the support of our capable and talented members.
Multiple strategies will be put in place while TCEB and TICA collaborate to form a Convention Taskforce that will work together as a strong unit, with the singular goal of winning. Bid Agents, suppliers, and association workgroups have been shortlisted to spearhead focus on customer and relationship cultivation programs. Another example of TICA and TCEB’s partnership is the ‘Convention Plus 2020’ collaboration, which aims to bring together event industry professionals and vendors in order to usher them into the international arena. This event is earmarked to be hosted at a venue in Bangkok sometime in March 2021.
In addition, Thailand will be forming an alliance with invited PCOs in China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan to share their resources and rotate conventions among these 5 countries. With this PCO Alliance, the goal is to have 5 major conventions in as many years. TCEB and TICA will also join hands to support ‘Homegrown Conventions,’ and gradually evolve them into regional conventions.
In the following few weeks, and depending on the severity of the new COVID-19 outbreaks, there is a possibility of implementing a ‘mobile quarantine’ for delegates coming for investment opportunities, and later also those coming for conventions and businesses. The delegates will not be required to go through the 14-day quarantine process, but will instead be escorted by an observation team to make sure that all safety and hygiene procedures are adhered to. This is just another example of Thailand’s remarkable adaptability over the past year in response to the crisis.
On behalf of TICA, I would like to also extend my congratulations to TCEB, for having been chosen as Thailand’s Most Admired Public Organisation among government departments. We are honoured and blessed to be closely associated with such a professional organisation.
Though 2020 has brought many challenges to our industry, there is always a silver lining. This is a wonderful opportunity to reset and reboot; to explore new horizons and share resources. TICA, together with its dedicated members, will continue to drive Thailand’s MICE industry forward. It is my honour to have worked with all of you, who have been a pillar of strength during these trying times. My sincere wishes for a happy and healthy 2021. I am sure, with our commitment, the Land of Smiles will live up to its former glory again, and our MICE industry will reach even greater heights of success.
Thailand Incentive and Convention Association