Mice expected to crack 30m with 2018 arrivals
Officials forecast revenue of B174bn
Some 30.2 million people, both locals and foreigners, are expected to make business trips in Thailand this year, generating revenue of 174 billion baht.
Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, said 1.19 million foreigners are projected to visit Thailand in 2018 for functions involving meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice). They are expected to contribute Mice revenue of 112 billion baht.
For the domestic market, more than 29 million people are expected to make business trips and contribute income of 62 billion baht through Mice events.
In 2017, Thailand welcomed 36 million Mice travellers, generating revenue of 180 billion baht. Of these, 1.04 million were international visitors generating 88.5 billion baht in revenue, while 35.3 million were domestic Mice travellers contributing 91.1 billion in revenue.
During January to June 2018, more than 350 conventions have been scheduled in Thailand, in addition to a wide range of confirmed meetings from now until the end of the year.
Up to 45% of the events will be held in Bangkok, while the rest will take place at Mice cities nationwide such as Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket and Khon Kaen, as well as high-potential destinations such as Chiang Rai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani and Songkhla.
Mr Chiruit said Thailand's Mice industry continues to show positive signs of growth as a result of collaboration by all public and private sector stakeholders.
Some of the largest events to be organised during the first half of 2018 include the 2018 MDRT Experience and Global Conference, which will bring 4,500 international delegates and 1,000 Thai delegates to the event during Feb 8-10; and the 11th Asian Pacific Poultry Conference during March 25-27, with 600 international delegates and 500 Thai guests.
Thailand will also host the World Cyber Games 2018, the world's biggest international eSport event, in Bangkok during April 26-29 at Impact Muang Thong Thani, with more than 10,000 participants expected to to join the event. ProPak Asia 2018, scheduled for June 13-16, which will bring in 50,000 international business visitors and some 7,500 Thai business people to the exhibition.
Asian Clinical Oncology Society 2018, to run Feb 23-25 in Chiang Mai, is expected to welcome more than 500 oncology professionals from around the region; and the Eighth International Congress of Asian Society of Toxicology will take place June 17-20 in Pattaya.
Santi Laoboonsa-ngiem, deputy governor of Khon Kaen province, said Khon Kaen is set to be the venue to host the PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2018 in November this year.
Khon Kaen, located in the heart of Thailand's Northeast region, has become a gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion, which consists of Cambodia, China (Yunnan and Quangxi provinces), Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, he said.
"Khon Kaen is also widely known for its rich Isan culture and history, where visitors can experience the lifestyle of Isan people, enjoy popular Isan cuisine, explore prehistoric artefacts and antiques, and learn about the famous Mad Mee silk production of Khon Kaen," Mr Santi said.
Srisuda Wananpinyosak, deputy governor for international marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas) at the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said the TAT is carrying out promotion of Thai experiences and driving income to local communities, all geared towards sustainable tourism.
She said Khon Kaen is the perfect venue to host the PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2018, and she hopes delegates attending the event will be able to engage with local communities, an important part of the unique Thai experience.