Thailand’s roadmap to recovery

TCEB has secured over 41 new meetings and incentives leads since March 2020 from regional markets

Food paradise: Thailand is expecting to carry on with some 51 international exhibitions in 2020. Credit: Getty Images

BANGKOK - Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has garnered over 41 new business leads to bring meetings and incentives to Thailand worth about 2.5 billion baht (US$76.9 million) since March 2020. These are primarily from regional markets like China, India, Singapore and Japan.

Over 65% of the leads are for events scheduled in Q4 this year, with the remaining 35% are slated for 2021 and beyond. The group sizes range from 147 to 3,340.  

TCEB is planning to kickstart its MICE sector recovery from the second half of the year, with industry leaders cautiously optimistic that the earliest return to business will be in Q4.

TCEB's SVP, strategic marketing and business development, Ms Nichapa Yoswee, believed that Asia will be the first region to recover and is planning for Thailand to welcome business events from the second half of the year.

The board is supporting some 51 international exhibitions that are slated to take place this year, apart from the three that have been cancelled.

"We are looking at a pretty busy second half of the year. The foundation of the industry remains solid even though the show sizes this year will be quite small," she said.

As Thailand enters a second month of lockdown, MICE businesses are faced with keeping their businesses stable and afloat despite having no business.

Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) president, Mr Sumate Sudasna, who is also the managing director of CDM Thailand, said: "By September, I don't think that we will see many countries in the Western hemisphere lift their travel lockdowns regulations and airlines also won't be flying their full schedules, so it will be very hard. It's a hopeful thought, but I'd think realistically that events will return only in November to December."

He shared that the company had an upscale international conference for 300 to 400 delegates originally scheduled for April, but has since had to shift it to the end of August and early-September.  

"Thankfully, the hosts are very determined to make this event happen and we are keeping our fingers crossed that this event will be possible," he said.