Thailand's events sector displayed a phenomenal showing this fiscal year, with earnings exceeding the THB200 billion (US$6 billion) benchmark that it had set for itself.
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) reported yesterday that the country's MICE industry earned THB219 billion on more than 34 million domestic and international event business visitors between October 2017 and September 2018.
International visitors increased by almost 20%, with Asian business travellers dominating the market - comprising more than 85% of all MICE visitors to Thailand. The top three source markets were China, India and Malaysia.
Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of TCEB, said the buoyant growth of the country's MICE industry was largely driven by the government's support in developing the MICE industry as an enabler of economic growth.
"This year, we have emphasised on a strategy to win more events, create new ones and strengthen support for event organisers through an innovative bidding process, as well as promoting the image of Thailand as a major destination for the MICE industry in Asia."
Looking forward, TCEB will focus on three key areas to further develop Thailand's MICE industry. The bureau aims to boost the national economy through MICE events, develop a vibrant self-reliant MICE industry through innovation, and distribute income and prosperity through MICE activities to four emerging MICE cities - Phuket, Khon Kaen, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.
It will also place greater emphasis on co-creation or integration with associations, government agencies and various organisations.
The country's growth in the MICE sector has helped established it as a hub for MICE business in Southeast Asia connecting ASEAN and CMLV (Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam) markets.
Chiruit said, "In addition to maintaining a close relationship with existing strategic partners, we are identifying new partners in line with Thailand's MICE industry development strategy based on our global brand campaign 'Thailand: Redefine Your Business Events'."
Thailand targets to host 36 million MICE travellers in the current fiscal year with a total revenue of about THB221.5 billion.