Vol: 34 July - August 2015
News : Thailand’s MICE Industry Grows 14.1%
Thailand’s MICE industry showed strong year-on-year growth of 14.1 per cent in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, thanks to strong demand from both local and ASEAN operators to use Thailand as their hub.

The Asian market for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) has continued to grow by 27.09 per cent, while the US market is recovering with just 17.15-per-cent growth. Vowing to explore the Asean+6 markets in a successive manner, Thai MICE operators are moving forward to arm Thai businesses with all sorts of competencies to fight the MICE battle on a global scale. Asean+6 comprises the main bloc plus Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Thongchai Sridama, acting president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, said yesterday that the TCEB's performance from October to December was remarkable. The overall picture has seen 177,699 foreign MICE travellers generating revenue of B15.1 billion. That was 14.1 per cent over the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

The MICE industry is expected to pick up another 15 per cent in the second quarter, ending this month, via timely rebranding and strategic marketing campaigns initiated from time to time by the bureau. The incentives segment drew the most MICE travellers to the Kingdom, numbering 57,214, which accounted for 32 per cent of the first-quarter total. The convention segment was next, with 30 per cent, followed by corporate meetings with 21 per cent and exhibitions with 17 per cent. On the revenue side, international conventions brought in the most, at B5.31 billion.

TCEB is moving fast to expand in high-potential Asian markets — particularly the Asean+6 group — enabling the regional MICE markets to continue to dominate with as much as 57.7 per cent of the overall market by growing 27.09 per cent from the previous year. Asian MICE travellers numbered 102,501, contributing B8.71 billion in revenue. Of the top five sources of MICE visitors to Thailand, most were from Asean+6. The top five were India, China, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.

The top five markets by growth include Australia and the United States at triple the same quarter of last year and Hong Kong and Taiwan at double last year's results. These markets are rising stars for Thai MICE entrepreneurs when it comes to seeking new market opportunities outside of Europe.

"The operation of the TCEB in the second quarter of this fiscal year will concentrate in exploring markets in Asean+6 nations,” Mr. Thongchai said, “which are considered major markets with high potential for the Thai MICE industry. Our key movements in the meetings segment will comprise creating awareness and expanding markets to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Meanwhile, our mission for international exhibitions will target Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, India, Vietnam and China, which are considered top exhibitors in Thailand.”

TCEB will emphasise the enhancement of potential for Thai MICE operators to prepare them for competition on a global scale, which in turn will result in the multiplicity of MICE visitors. In the third quarter of this fiscal year, TCEB is set to launch the National Skill Standard Development Project in MICE with the offering of an exhibition management degree. There will also be interesting seminars and a workshop for convention and exhibition operations. Topics include "Sustainable Asia" and the preparation of players for the integration of ASEAN nations.

“Undoubtedly, figures involving MICE activities gathered in the first quarter of this fiscal year proved that the Thai MICE industry has grown over our expectation,” Thongchai added, in conclusion. “The numbers of foreign MICE travellers totalled 177,699, or equal to B15.1 billion in revenue, which is highly satisfactory. Pairing up with the strategic marketing scheme of TCEB that is committed to boosting the Thai MICE business in every aspect, it is expected that the overall picture of the Thai MICE industry will grow by 5-10 per cent. In 2013, the TCEB foresees the Thai MICE industry expanding in value to Bt88 billion with the contribution of about 940,000 MICE travellers.”