Supawan Teerarat, acting president of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) informed MICE in Asia of special marketing packages being introduced to attract conventions and exhibitions to the country.
Out of the political turmoil faced by Thailand during these challenging economic times and with the looming health problem of influenza A (H1N1) affecting travellers around the world, Thailand has come up with several marketing packages to resuscitate its MICE industry. The aim of this is to regain the world’s confidence in the country as a destination for MICE.
“Bring More, Enjoy More” is a campaign to encourage meetings planners, convention organisers and associations to bring 20 delegates or more to attend conventions in Thailand, and they would in return receive certain privileges. These privileges are in the form of support to the tune of Baht 50,000 to 120,000, and hospitality packages of up to Baht 30,000 to 60,000 available throughout 2009 and up until September 2010.
To attract exhibitions into the country, TCEB launched “Beyond Exhibition” offering attractive incentives to both exhibitors and visitors. The “Triple-E” provides an accommodation subsidy, that will allow for a free, fourth night stay. Trade associations are eligible for the “100-A-Head” package where exhibitors are able to receive US$ 100 per person in marketing support, if they are able to attract a group of at least 15 people. The “100-A-Head” package is offered to countries in ASEAN and is extended to China and India.
Another component of its integrated marketing plan is the “Quick Win” promotion for the inbound market. In addition to this is the 360° communications strategy to help stimulate the domestic conference market. TCEB according to its acting vice president is hoping to concentrate more on the domestic conference market, as well as those from the ASEAN countries especially during this economic downturn.
The bureau has identified five cities in the country namely Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai as destinations where conferences can be organised for the local market. There are also plans to collaborate with the private sector in building more MICE venues, and already in the pipeline is a new convention and exhibition centre in Chiang Mai.
In terms of safety and security in Thailand with regard to the two major political incidents that have taken place in the country recently, which unfortunately resulted in the airport being shut down, and another violent street demonstration aimed at overthrowing the current president, has according to Supawan Teerarat resulted in some events and exhibitions being postponed. TCEB has taken the initiative early this year, by putting in place a crisis management strategy to allay the fears of conference organisers and exhibitors. The bureau, she said is working closely with the country’s Institute of Industrial Standardisation and has the support of the country’s Ministry of Industry in developing a comprehensive crisis management plan to which TCEB will apply for an ISO rating, making it a first in the world.