The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has joined with the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office and Pattaya City to develop the resort destination into a "Mice Metropolis".
Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of the TCEB, said the popular city is in a strategic location to support Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions), thanks to its potential as a centre of commerce, investment and services.
Pattaya City is one of the five main Mice cities alongside Chiang Mai, Phuket, Khon Kaen and Bangkok promoted by the TCEB, and the agency is planning to employ Mice businesses to stimulate the development of the EEC by bidding for more Mice-related events in the area, Mr Chiruit said.
The EEC zone encompasses parts of Rayong, Chachoengsao and Chon Buri, the province that includes Pattaya City.
Several megaprojects are under development, including the expansion of U-tapao airport and major infrastructure linking ground, sea and air transport systems throughout the three provinces.
"These movements are the main supporting factors for leveraging the development of Mice businesses in Pattaya City," Mr Chiruit said.
There are plenty of accommodations and convention facilities that suit international conventions and exhibitions in the city, which ranked as the third top Mice city after Bangkok and Phuket in terms of volume of Mice travellers.
Last year, Pattaya welcomed 169,629 foreign Mice travellers and 1.7 million domestic Mice travellers, generating 16 billion baht.
Mr Chiruit said a plan to build a new convention centre in the province is under review and is expected to be finalised in the first half of next year.
According to Mr Chiruit, some international events to be held in the EEC include industrial events, especially those related to S-curve sectors, as well as sports, artistic and cultural events.
The agency is also preparing to launch new Mice routes in the EEC under the "7 Mice Magnificent" theme through a partnership with the EEC Office in fiscal 2020.
The scheme includes local Mice venues in Pattaya, namely the Ban Takhian Tia community enterprise and Na Kluea community.
The budget for the project will be roughly 6.5 million baht.
Supawan Teerarat, senior vice-president for strategic business development and innovation at the TCEB, said other sites besides Pattaya in Chon Buri and Rayong could be venues to support meetings, thanks to ample hotels with meeting rooms.
"At this time, TCEB has encouraged more hotel operators to be certified under the Thailand Mice Venue Standards or TMVS," she said.
In order to provide more human resources for Mice businesses in the EEC, the TCEB will sign a memorandum of understanding with Kasetsart University's Sriracha campus and Burapha University next month to create the Mice EEC Academic Cluster to increase workforce for the sector.