As the entire world is aware, the people of Thailand are still coming to terms with a grief-stricken few weeks, as our nation is in mourning for our beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away on October 13th.

Nevertheless, the tourism and MICE fraternity forged ahead, with a heavy heart, as we had to ensure that all responsibilities were fulfilled and that all foreign guests, whether in the kingdom or abroad, were well-taken care of at all events and occasions. I am happy to report that during this highly sentimental period, only a few domestic MICE events, especially incentives and those involved with any kind of celebrations, were cancelled or postponed. None of the international MICE-related events such as seminars and conventions were cancelled and proceeded with as much normalcy as was possible.

Last week, H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “Thailand may be in mourning, but we want to reassure travellers that the Thai people are wearing their famous smiles as well as black clothing, so it’s business as usual in Thailand. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is working closely with public and private tourism organisations to get the message out that all events and festivals, including sports tournaments and cultural traditions, will be going ahead as scheduled though a sense of respect and appropriateness will be maintained.”

In this issue of our newsletter, we are exploring the vast possibilities of Chiang Mai – Thailand’s winter capital that’s perched up in the northern region and well known for its rolling hills, handicrafts and charming people. But above and beyond all of these, Chiang Mai is amongst Asia’s topmost MICE destinations with world-class venues and a long list of activities for pre-and-post events that are truly unique and second to none.

The Thai tourism industry too has been gaining momentum with a jump of 13 percent of tourist arrivals, taking the figure to a respectable 24.9 million arrivals in the past 9 months. Without doubt, there will be a positive spin out from these arrivals, as tourists will be charmed by the gracious Thai hospitality, great weather all year round and value added offers that are tough to beat.

Thailand will certainly continue to impress with its footprint in the world MICE market, as we continue in our anticipation for a brighter and more glorious future that will magnify the grand vision of our beloved late King.

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