Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB announced the latest cooperative project so-called “Smart Village” to encourage the corporate market to organise more company outing activities in different provinces across the country. The bureau said it has partnered with four large corporations conducting a pilot program in four model communities, while eleven start-up companies have participated in the mission to develop the digital platform to share the experiences and promote the local identities. The activity is part of the bureau’s task to enhance the country’s MICE industry which helps to generate sustainable economic development in the local economy. It is also a stage to encourage the growth of start-up business, recognised as one of the significant clusters under the government’s Thailand 4.0 Policy.

Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya President of TCEB said that, in response to the strategic partnership under The Royal Thai government’s Pracharath Policy that emphasises on strengthening the economic foundation of local communities. TCEB, a public organisation that is tasked with promoting and developing business events in Thailand, commenced the ‘Smart Village’ project to encourage the private companies to organise their corporate outing and CSR activities in different parts of the country. The project is aimed to promote MICE activities in those great potential provinces, apart from the MICE cities (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya and Khon Kaen). In nationwide, there are many emerging destinations with great potentials, for example, authentic cultural identity and outstanding local products, which could be developed into MICE products and services. These features can add more value and help to generate a sustainable income to the communities. The Smart Village project engages key stakeholders, Public-Private-People, which is in line with the Pracharath Policy. Also, it encompasses innovation and technologies, recognised as the country's development tools under Thailand 4.0 Policy.

TCEB has identified four model communities for the Smart Village project. They are located in the target areas for MICE development. Each community can cater corporate's outing activities, with a capacity of 20 participants in minimum. Above of all, they show great potentials which can be developed as the Smart Village project in four dimensions. Firstly, Smart Culture, an aspect of what makes their culture dynamic or a blend of the tradition and innovation in the way that creates a new charm of the community. Secondly, Smart Community, the ability to adapt and utilise innovation as a tool to enhance the cooperation among stakeholders. Thirdly, Smart Experience, the ability to offer a new experience or create a new approach to re-introducing a traditional experience. And lastly, Smart MICE, the ability to conduct activities which demonstrate their potential and readiness to serve the MICE customers. It includes the creativity in developing new experience as well as the use of innovation as a tool to promote the community as the attractive destination. Meanwhile, the four chosen model communities are 1.) Suan Phueng Community in Ratchaburi Province 2.) Pak Phraek Community in Kanchanaburi Province 3.) Doi Mae Salong Nok Community in Chiang Rai Province and 4.) Wang Nam Khiao Community in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Also, TCEB had invited alliances from the private sector to join the project; the four leading corporations are Krungsri Finnovate Co., Ltd., Tipco Foods Public Company Limited, TV Thunder Public Company Limited, and Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited. Furthermore, eleven start-up companies were invited to join this project to support the local communities with innovation and technologies. The significant part of the mission is to develop the community’s profiles in the “SMART” direction and attract the corporate market. This project is designed under the concept of “Co-Creation” which is a collaborative effort from all sectors. Of those alliances, four teams have formed to join the contest and create innovation to add value to the MICE industry. These teams are:

1. Suan Phueng Community in Ratchaburi Province by Tipco Foods Public Company Limited together with Happy Famers, Take me Tour and Tickettail.

2. Pak Phraek Community in Kanchanaburi Province by Krungsri Finnovate Co., Ltd. together with Trippacker, ZipEvent and Local Pillow.

3. Doi Mae Salong Nok Community in Chiang Rai Province by TV Thunder Public Company Limited together with Local Alike, VT Thai and Penguint

4. Wang Nam Khiao Community in Nakhon Ratchasima Province by Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited and Hivesters, Veget Daily and ZipEvent.

Mr. Kittichet Sathitnoppachai, Tipco Foods Public Company Limited Marketing Director said, “What makes Smart Village special is not only just a great company outing activity but a meaningful way to give back to the society. It is the giving which we can experience the immediate responses. By having had the chance to visit Suan Phueng Community in Ratchaburi Province, we had a great opportunity to jointly conducted activities with the locals. For example: making scented candles, making souvenirs from clay, joining the blessing ceremony at the Karen tribe’s village, and picking up farm-fresh and organic vegetable from the local produce. These activities revealed the great potentials of local communities in Thailand, which await to be discovered and further developed through innovation and collaborative effort from all stakeholders.”

Mr. Sam Tanskul, Krungsri Finnovate Co., Ltd. Managing Director said, “Company outing is one of the essential activities of the organisation. It is the only time of the year when staffs can develop their colleague relationship through creative activities without thinking about their work. The event can help to create a smooth workflow in the future. By organising activities at the Pak Phraek Community in Kanchanaburi Province, it had made our company trip even more memorable. Our experiences during our outing include: organising a workshop with the local community on a raft, learning local history, conducting volunteer activities to take care of old elephants, and watching the chicken dance. Meanwhile, the smartphone application, which created by the start-up companies, has made everything more convenient for us whether to search for tourist attraction or accommodations All of these valuable experiences had helped us to achieve the trip's objectives which were not only to enjoy the leisure time but to create innovative activities with the local community.”

Mr. Natakrit Wannapinyo, TV Thunder Public Company Limited, Vice President of Business Development Division said, “In the occasion that companies are starting to organise the company outings, we would like to recommend Doi Mae Salong Nok Community in Chiang Rai Province as the destination. This Smart Village model community not only offers beautiful scenery with perfect weather but a perfect place to conduct team building activities where participants can also learn about local’s tradition. Activities that the community offers are such as making the bracelet with Akha tribe, tea-leaf picking, and watching traditional performances. All of these experiences had made such a great inspiration for us to produce quality and valuable works for the society.”

Dr. Srihathai Prammanee, Advance Info Services Public Limited Company (AIS), Head of AIS The StartUpsaid, "The Wang Nam Khiao Community in Nakhon Ratchasima Province is an excellent model for Smart Village project. The collaborative program showcases the strengths of public organisations, leading corporations, start-up companies, and local communities, which jointly create a better future together. Through the recent company outing activity, we had explored the readiness of Wang Nam Khiao Community and enjoyed many interesting activities, for example, a workshop, mushroom growing, afforestation activities, kayaking, and a small talk amid relaxing atmosphere at the Wang Nam Khiao Coffee Roasting Factory. In Thailand, there are many local communities with great potentials. The innovation from the start-up companies can help them to develop the local economy, which will create a better future for the communities and the society.”

“In the overall picture, besides the benefit regarding the value added of the MICE industry, the Smart Village project has created opportunities for participants to have a direct experience and learn about the potentials of these communities which include their capability to conduct creative activities and response to the needs of MICE customers. Meanwhile, the start-up companies have enjoyed their mission to create the innovative way to promote these communities. They introduced the uniqueness of each community through the online platform including Facebook and YouTube and gained a great response from the audience. This project encourages local communities to apply the knowledge-based operation and promote creativity, innovation, and cultural identity. These essential elements can make their community to become an interesting MICE destination. As for the local community, their representatives are also proud of the value added of their region. It helps to motivate and strengthen the community with the sustainability. Moreover, the Smart Village project underlines the integration of technologies. The mobile application is utilised as a reservation tool for accommodation and a communication channel to promote the community’s products and services. It offers the fastest and direct way to create the awareness of each destination to the target audience. The online platform helps the communities to add value to their local economy, creating stability, prosperity, and sustainability to the country’s economic chain.” Mr. Chiruit concluded.

The promotional activities of four model communities under the Smart Village project have been carried out in the competition format. All of the four teams had to compete in a mission to promote and create the awareness of the Smart Village through the online channels. The winning team, which has gained the most views and engagement during 1-20 November 2017, is the Pak Phraek Community in Kanchanaburi Province with 337,667 of Views, Likes, Shares, and Comments. They promoted the awareness of the project through different online channels and received a total of 1,069,501 views. The team has won the top prize, which includes electronic devices worth more than 100,000 Baht together with the honour award plaque. In total, the Smart Village's pilot project received 4,070,953 views within the three-week-long period. For more information about the Smart Village project, visit Click here

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