Amid a spike in Covid-19 infections and renewed movement
restrictions, event industry leaders in Thailand are urging the
government for further assistance.
Sumate Sudasna, president of Thailand Incentive and Convention
Association (TICA) said that in order to survive, businesses have had to
cut costs in many areas, including workforce reductions.
Speaking to M&C Asia, he also commented that it's been difficult
for international tourism and events agencies to enter domestic
business, which already has established players. At present, the cake is
too small to share.
Therefore, "assistance to allow operators to survive is urgently needed," Sudasna said.
TCEB president, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, added that amid such crisis, marketing campaigns would be fruitless.
"Situations would [only] return to normal mid next year at the
soonest and remaining budgets should be therefore spent to help
operators," he said.
The comments came after Chiruit had met representatives from 20
MICE-related associations and tour guide services on 13 January, and
found that all operators had problems which varied in degrees. He added
that the urgent priority for TCEB was to help the operators pass through
To do that, TCEB will divert budget previously designated for the
support of events that were postponed or cancelled, to help affected
operators. Relevant companies and associations will work out their
projects that TCEB can support in by the end of this fiscal year in
September. Such projects could include training for employees and TCEB
will pay training allowances to participating employees.
Additionally, TCEB will request 200 million baht (US$6.67 million)
from the government to stimulate spending in the MICE sector. Also in
the plans: a grant of 30,000 baht to any company which organises a
two-day domestic meeting that includes a CSR activity with a regional
community. TCEB will grant 15,000 baht to any company that has a social
responsibility activity with a local community in Bangkok.
TCEB expects its initiatives to circulate money among communities and
MICE operators. It hopes that the National Economic and Social
Development Council, and the government will give quick approval for the
"Thailand still has potential in MICE and should be able to restart the industry when the time is right," said Chiruit.
Similarly, TICA's Sumate believes that there is pending demand in the
MICE sector. "When the situation improves, Thai operators should be
ready to meet the demand right away," he said. He expects exhibitions to
return first, followed by corporate meetings, conventions and