by Meetings & Conventions Asia | May 21, 2019
International Congress and Convention Association ranks Thailand the top MICE destination in ASEAN and fourth best in Asia. Its capital, Bangkok, is the second most popular city for meetings. (spkphotosstock/GettyImages)
Thailand has emerged as one of Asia's MICE destinations of choice after a strong second-quarter report card revealed a growth in visitors and income.

The number of domestic and foreign MICE travellers totalled eight million, which contributed to a rise of 6.27% - or THB 50 billion (US$1.56 billion) - in revenue, according to the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), putting it on course with TCEB's goal of hitting THB 220 billion in 2019. 

Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of TCEB, said Thailand now ranks fourth in Asia for international conventions, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The top three spots Japan, China and Korea respectively. This also makes Thailand the top nation for meetings among ASEAN countries. 

The picture is also encouraging at a city level. Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya rank 2nd, 25th and 60 respectively in Asia for international conventions. 

Considering foreign MICE markets, TCEB found that corporate meeting business has experienced the highest growth in terms of visitor numbers and revenue. The number of travellers rose by 11%, contributing to revenue growth of 7%. The top five countries for MICE visitors entering Thailand are China (122,426), India (40,492), Japan (30,038), Hong Kong (26,021) and Indonesia (21,202).

The domestic MICE market, too, marked the highest growth in the incentives market, both in number and revenue. Traveller growth totalled 18%, whereas revenue growth registered 180%. Its top five MICE cities include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Phuket and Pattaya, respectively.

"The overall picture of Thai MICE market in Q2 indicated that Thailand has maintained our status as a significant MICE destination and has continued to gain trust to hold major events amidst the fluctuation and fierce competition", said Chiruit.

"Triumphantly, we can say that the success is from strong collaborations of involving parties from public and private sectors, who have dedicated to boost the growth of national MICE and enable it to prosper with stability".