2016 was definitely more than just an average year. Though we had an overall growth of roughly six percent, which by no means is unsatisfactory, all indicators are definitely pointing towards stronger years ahead. So much so that a recent study by DPI Research, at the recently held ITBM, revealed tremendous growth potential for Thailand. It has forecasted that by the year 2022, Thailand will attract more than 1.3 million MICE travellers and will generate almost 145 billion Baht in revenues from international markets.

However, we cannot just take this for granted. The competition is rising and ASEAN will continue to see an increased amount of requests for proposals pouring in as MICE planners and large corporations are constantly on the lookout for better bargains.

MICE industry is one of the key sectors that the Thai government intends to develop in order to stimulate quality visitors within the country and abroad. Hence, all TICA members should be responsible to shoulder their fair share of effort in driving the country forward towards stability, prosperity and sustainability. We, at TICA, are trying harder, and with our ongoing training and educational programmes, we intend to develop better industry professionals to meet the rigorous demands of competition. Please don’t forget that we already have one of the world’s best products to start off with. Thailand is today, one of the most important and popular MICE destinations in the world.

The challenge is to now take it to the next level. Thanks to our already solid basic infrastructure, strategic location, developed transportation systems, international connectivity, a well-trained private sector, continual government support and sound regulations, I am confident that we will be able to achieve our objective.

To honour our beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, may I also remind you of His holistic guidelines, from the Sufficient Economy Philosophy to the Sustainable Development Goals and global MICE industry trends. Let us all combine our efforts and resources to ensure a better future for our country and work together to remind the MICE world of what a wonderful destination our Land of Smiles is.

Finally, on behalf of the TICA Board, we wish you a very successful, healthy and fulfilling 2017.

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