2019 has so far been a challenging year for Thailand’s MICE industry, due to numerous external factors that have come into play the last couple of months. These include the ongoing US-China trade war, the strengthening of the Thai Baht, the slowing down of the world economy, and the significant drop in inbound Chinese tourists.

However, I’m happy to report that even in these difficult times, the Thai MICE industry has shown positive growth, with a 6.7% increase in revenue generated in Q2 of the 2019 fiscal year alone. Thanks to the robust domestic tourism industry, the resilience of the Thai economy, and the increasing number of business travellers from ASEAN, China, and India, Thailand’s MICE industry continues its upwards trajectory. This view has been reiterated by the TAT governor, who forecasted a 7% year-on-year increase in the number of foreign visitors in Q3 of 2019, as well as a 9% increase in the spending of both domestic and foreign tourists, totalling THB 820 billion.

I’m also pleased to inform our valued members that with the election well behind us, the new government in place has ear-marked a significant budget towards tourism promotion both in the short and long term. This will undoubtedly provide us with the much-needed momentum to continue forging forward towards our goals. Further impetus has been provided in the form of Thailand’s Transport Minister’s pledge to continue the mega-infrastructure investment projects undertaken by the previous government, worth a total of THB 880 billion.

Moreover, regional and intra-national connections continue to further Thailand’s role as a leading voice in the MICE industry. TCEB recently initiated “Thailand’s MICE Startup,” a competition to drive technological innovation, with 47 teams of competitors from Asia and Europe. Thailand has also sought deeper cooperation with Southeast Asian foreign ministers in their annual meeting at the end of July, with the Thai Foreign Minister advocating for more forward-thinking within the region and beyond.

TICA has continued in its efforts to facilitate the growth of the Thai MICE industry in all sectors. During the Singapore Mice Forum (SMF) 2019, five SE Asian MICE associations, including TICA, signed a pact to develop a sustainable ecosystem for MICE activities region-wide. TICA has furthermore hosted the successful “Be Effective at Tradeshow” event as well as the Thailand Incentive Travel Professional (TITP) seminar that had great feedback from all our members.

In this issue, we have also highlighted both Hua-Hin and Cha-am in our destination showcase, much sought-after destinations for MICE activities due to their scenic natural attractions, first-rate facilities, and array of available activities.

Based on industry statistics and the significant strides made by Thailand’s MICE industry in the last few months, I am confident that despite these challenging times, we can continue to co-operate with each other and strive ahead in our goal of furthering Thailand’s leading role in the region, and in the MICE industry in general.

Sumate Sudasna
Thailand Incentive and Convention Association

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