Highlighting new destination development and tapping CLMV marketS
published : 31 Jan 2019 at 10:05
Thailand played host to SITE Global Conference 2019 in January, an annual gathering of over 300 incentive professionals from around the world,thereby affirming the kingdom’s growing role in the international incentive industry.
It was opportune timing as Mrs Nichapa Yoswee, Senior Vice President, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), revealed a 35.90 per cent increase in international incentive travellers to Thailand in 2018, the fastest rate of increase for 14 years. Totaling approximately 369,370 travellers, the arrivals generated 20,670 million baht in revenues. The short-haul markets of China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines accounted for the lion’s share.
Encouraging new destinations and management standards
Mrs Nichapa Yoswee,Senior Vice President
Thailand has also been dominant in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) sector. According to AMEX, Bangkok is one of the top three most-preferred destinations for organising events. Moreover, the Global Destination Sustainability Index recently ranked Bangkok the second top city destination for effectively following sustainability practices in events and meetings.
To capitalise on the thriving trend and further strengthen Thailand’s position, Mrs Yoswee explained that there are two main strategies to follow. Firstly, it is important for the country to maintain the existing main markets, especially short-haul markets in Asia. To this end, TCEB will collaborate with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to develop new destinations and attractions so as to offer product variety that can cater to incentive travellers. Secondly, it is important to raise the standards of Thai entrepreneurs to be capable of providing services to overseas incentive travellers whose requirements and expectations can vary considerably.
Creating local content
The key aim of the incentive travel industry must be to offer inspiring ideas and creativity. Thailand is ready to make that possible. To illustrate, Thai service providers are known to be very hospitable and service-minded. Moreover, TCEB is promoting and supporting authentic local cultural and creative activities targeting the incentive sector as bookers increasingly seek authenticity in their chosen destinations. This allows locals to play a crucial role as hosts. All activities, however, must be environment-friendly and based on sustainability.
Establishing partnerships with private sectorS
Going forward, incentive groups are predicted to become smaller, spend less time, and more actively seek exclusive and special experiences to make their travel meaningful, inspiring and motivating. They also seek top technology and innovation. TCEB plans to establish partnerships with the private sectors and jointly develop new tools, new products and new programmes to satisfy those demands. Success will see long haul customers from Europe, America and Oceania staying longer in Thailand.
Tapping CLMV marketS
Mrs Yoswee added that attracting customers from CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam), will bring more business opportunities for the incentive sector in Thailand. She noted that MICE traffic to Thailand from these markets grew 208 per cent in 2018, as their economies expanded.
TCEB is currently planning roadshows around CLMV markets to introduce Thai suppliers and TCEB’s support campaigns to prospective clients. Moreover, TCEB is collaborating with Thai airlines with a strong presence in CLMV markets to offer travel privileges and convenient access to Thailand.
TCEB is also highlighting development of new attractions in Thailand that can fulfil CLMV travellers’ aspirations.