The following report is from Rob Cotter, a One+ freelance writer, who is attending the Incentive Travel & Conventions Meetings Asia (IT&CMA) in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) used the forum of this year’s IT&CMA to announce the allocation of $30 million to two campaigns behind an ambitious three-year (2013-2015) plan to boost its corporate meetings market.
The first campaign, "Once in Thailand," is for Thailand to position itself as a destination for mega-meetings, offering financial support of $33,000 for events of 1,000 or more participants and of three-or-more days duration. The second campaign, "Thailand Again and Again," is a stepped support program for ongoing commitment to Thailand from five main business areas (direct selling, automotives, pharmaceuticals, finance and insurance), with the level of support increasing on a yearly basis so long as the event delivers a 10 percent delegate uplift over the same period.
“Our approach to stimulating the market in 2013 will focus on driving Thailand’s meetings industry in line with the government’s ‘Modern Thailand’ policy,” said Ms. Vichaya Soonthornsaratoon. “The policy seeks to create new trade and investment opportunities by positioning Thailand as the natural gateway to the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] market and a hub for creation of new region-wide business opportunities.”
There will also be several roadshows over the campaign period in nine main target markets: India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Britain, France and Russia, as well as presence at all the major MICE trade shows.
“TCEB’s allocated budget of $29 million for 2013 includes approximately $9 million for meetings industry promotion,” Soonthornsaratoon said. “By year end, TCEB expects to achieve its target of 750,000 MICE travelers to Thailand,with revenues forecast at $2 billion.”
Chasing the mega meetings could being mega results for TCEB and Thailand’s MICE industry.