TCEB Hosts ﾑThailand MICE International Forum 2012'
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, in cooperation with international exhibition and event bodies, recently held the Thailand MICE International Forum (TMIF) 2012 in Bangkok.
The Forum brought together expertise from TCEB, the Asian Federation for Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA) and the U.S.-based International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).
With the theme, “Connecting Asia, Connecting Success,” the Forum had two goals.
The first goal was to domestically enhance the appreciation among Thailand’s MICE operators of the importance and potential of the regional MICE industry, elevate its service standards and encourage the industry to prepare fully for a new competitive environment.
The second goal was to internationally highlight Thailand’s capabilities and readiness as a gateway to the regional MICE market in Asia.
“The forum opens the door for Thailand, as the platform of ASEAN, to serve as a focal point in harnessing and linking together the diverse strengths and potential of MICE players across the Asian region,” said Thongchai Sridama, acting president of TCEB.
TMIF 2012 was comprised of three events: 1) an international forum, including seminars and keynote lectures from renowned leaders in the global MICE industry; 2) a business matching event, open to all participating MICE operators and visitors from Thailand and around the world, and 3) a Trade Promoter Roundtable Discussion dedicated to MICE industry development in the CLMV countries - Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Thongchaisaid despite last year’s slowdown in the global MICE industry triggered by the economic crises in Europe and the U.S., Asia’s MICE industry has bucked the trend and continued its robust year-on-year growth.
“MICE organisers and travellers from around the world are starting to pay new attention to Asia as a global MICE destination,” he added, “Moreover, the forthcoming creation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 highlights the increasing strategic importance and overall potential of the region’s MICE sector. I believe the formation of the AEC is set to drive major growth and transformation in the region’s MICE industry.”
Last year, MICE travellers from Asia made a vital contribution to the strong growth in Thailand’s MICE industry, with more than 396,000 visitors, representing 47 percent of all MICE travellers.
Those visitors contributed Baht 28.5 billion to Thailand's economy. Visitors from India, China, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia occupy the top five places among Asian MICE visitors.
Group discussions at the forum covered MICE industry trends and future developments in Asia, destination management challenges and business opportunities following liberalization of the ASEAN Economic Community, and MICE business opportunities in the Mekong basin countries.
Thongchai said before the event: "In hosting TMIF for the first time this year, we expect over 300 participants from 21 countries around the world. This is the first international forum for Thailand’s MICE industry. It will serve as a platform for Thailand to discuss with CLMV member countries and explore avenues for joint development of the international exhibition industry. TCEB is confident that TMIF 2012 will accomplish its goals through the excellent cooperation of all parties. We’re also delighted at the wide support expressed for Thailand to continue to host this event on an annual basis.”