January - February



It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the first edition of the TICA MICE Update for 2019. Our associates, partners and TICA members have been busy working hard behind the scenes to ensure that a strong momentum from 2018 is pushed even further this year.

We are off to an eventful start, as January saw the successful SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) 2019 Global Conference take place in Bangkok. SITE is the worldwide association dedicated exclusively to growing incentive travel. At the 2019 edition, more than 400 delegates from 30 countries were given first-hand glimpses of leading MICE venues in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. During this event, the MICE capabilities of Thailand’s secondary destinations were also highlighted, with the objective that they will become critical drivers of MICE revenue in the coming years, boosting the growth of the MICE industry as a whole.

This year, Thailand is expected to welcome a total of 41.1 million visitors who are predicted to generate B2.2 trillion in revenue, a respectable rise of 7.5 percent and 10 percent respectively, from 2018’s figures. Of the former number, 1.32 million are expected to be foreign incentive travellers. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that MICE facilities are on par with international standards. And so more than 1,200 exhibition rooms and spaces are set to be certified within the next five years, in accordance with the Thailand MICE Venue Standards (TMVS), making this the largest number in the ASEAN region.

Furthermore, standardisation is a crucial step in building trust between event organisers and MICE venue operators. Approximately 371 venues, including 949 meeting rooms and spaces, have already been certified using TMVS, ensuring that Thailand is well on its way to achieve its goal as a premier MICE destination.

Current on-going advancements in the country’s infrastructure will also promote connectivity within the region and beyond, driving more MICE visitors to Thailand. The airport extensions for both Suvarnabhumi Airport and Chiang Mai Airport will cement Thailand’s status as a regional transport hub in the ASEAN region. While on the ground, the B179 billion Thailand-China high-speed railway, the B220 billion high-speed railway that will connect Thailand’s three airports (Don Mueang International Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport and U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport), and the B77 billion Bangkok-Hua Hin high-speed rail is expected to open up the area to a larger number of both domestic and international MICE visitors.

Also in this edition of the TICA MICE Update, our Destination Showcase turns the spotlight on the Central Plains, a region brimming with untapped MICE potential. The Central Plains contain top secondary destinations like Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Cha-Am and Hua Hin, which are all only a few hours away from Bangkok by car. They offer a wide range of MICE-friendly venues and cultural attractions ideal for incentive travel.

Thanks to these various advancements and initiatives in the areas of MICE venue certification, infrastructural connectivity and the renewed focus on highlighting Thailand’s incentive travel opportunities, we are confident that we will meet our targets more efficiently, and make 2019 another rewarding year for the MICE industry.

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