Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul (centre) with other dignitaries at Thailand's stand at IBTM World in Barcelona.
BARCELONA - Thailand is giving meetings and events planners more than 100 new reasons to bring events to the country, after the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) launched 115 new incentive activities and venues across 14 cities for 2020.
Spanning seven themes - history and culture; CSR and green meetings; beach bliss; exhilarating adventures; treasured team building; lavish luxury; and culinary journeys - the new initiative is expected to help push Thailand closer to its aim of becoming one of Asia's top MICE destinations.
Announcing the initiative at IBTM World in Barcelona on Nov 19, TCEB president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya said the fact that "Thailand has over 100 new products to offer clearly demonstrates how destinations in Thailand are determined to meet planners' needs for creative and cultural immersive products".
"For the past year we've collaborated with key MICE cities and other major destinations across Thailand to develop their local resources, creating new activities based on their local culture and designed for the business events sector," said Mr Chiruit.
"The collaboration also reflects the ethos of our new campaign - Thailand Redefine Your Business Events - to deliver redefined experiences for clients and showcase Thailand as a diverse destination. We believe Thailand will always remain a preferred and competitive destination."
The 115 new activities and venues are available in the following locations:
• 5 MICE Cities - Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen
• 9 other cities - Chiang Rai (near Chiang Mai), Udon Thani (near Khon Kaen), Samut Songkram, Samut Sakhon and Chacheongsao (near Bangkok), Chonburi and Rayong (near Pattaya), Song Khla and Nakhon Sri Thammarat (southern Thailand).
New activities include enjoying ethnic hill tribe cuisine in Chiang Mai, producing salt lick for wildlife near Pattaya, dinner on the floating table in the lagoon in Phuket, exploring the historical streets in Bangkok on a Thai Bus Food Tour and discovering a new venue - a former rice‐milling barn in Khon Kaen.
Second‐tier cities, located near to primary destinations, also offer new experiences for delegates. These include a café run by inmates from an occupational training program in Chiang Rai (near Chiang Mai), turning sea salt into spa products with salt pit operators in Samut Songkram (near Bangkok), supporting a crab bank housing young crab before their release into the sea in Chonburi (near Pattaya), producing paper and thread from pineapple fibre in Song Khla in southern Thailand, and team‐building activities in a former US military camp in Udon Thani (near Khon Kaen).
Alongside this are a range of new venues which can host team‐building and themed adventure activities: Volume Climbing Gym in Khon Kaen, Zero Latency (virtual reality team building) in Bangkok, Water Sport Ground in Pattaya, Thai Wake Park in Chon Buri and the Windsurf Club in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.
NEW PLANNERS SUPPORT
To encourage planners to take advantage of the new products, TCEB has developed support campaigns for events in core MICE cities and other locations:
• Meet Now: The Big Sisters (Bangkok or Pattaya) - offering support for groups from 50 - over 1,000 pax. Financial support up to 500,000 baht (US$16,570).
• Meet Now: Beyond Bangkok & Pattaya ‐ offering support for groups from 30 - over 1,000 pax. Financial support up to 1,000,000 baht.
TCEB also has a support campaign promoting sustainability:
• Meet Sustainable - offering max 200,000 baht for a group (50 at minimum) holding an event with at least two out of seven sustainable practices, such as using venue certified for sustainable environment or energy management, use electronic registration and reusable badge, donate left‐over food to non‐profit organisation.