TCEB lines up future Mice arrivals next year
Four countries in on reopening plan
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) plans to steady the Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) industry for future visits from the international market as it awaits the government loosening travel restrictions.
TCEB president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya said about 360 companies from China expressed their intent to bring meeting and incentive groups to Thailand in April 2021 at the earliest after the agency helped support the Incentive Travel and Conventions, Meetings 2020 during Aug 3-5.
The event was organised as a hybrid online-offline experience.
A reopening plan for Mice travellers may emerge soon as a special arrangement has been struck between the Thai Foreign Ministry and the governments of four countries: China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
The agency already proposed to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) the "Special Journey" scheme to allow short-term foreign investors to enter the country without the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Mr Chiruit said he cannot disclose the details of the process as the CCSA approval has not yet been granted.
International Mice visitors during the first phase of reopening would travel in groups of no larger than 10 people and be monitored by liaisons, he said.
There are 30 liaisons who have passed the TCEB's training programme, mostly event agents and former cabin crew.
"Even though hybrid Mice events are increasing because of the outbreak, they cannot compensate for face-to-face events, which are a key part of how people do business," he said.
The agency is planning for the longer term by bidding for more international Mice events during 2022-25, particularly events that serve the government's targeted 12 S-curve industries in the hopes of driving development of the Eastern Economic Corridor.
TCEB is considering at least 15 events involving logistics and infrastructure. One of them is a soft launch of an air show in 2023 before the official air show starts in 2025 at U-tapao airport.
The agency also aims to disperse more mega-events and festivals to provincial areas, as well as increase representation in China and Singapore.
According to TCEB, during fiscal 2020 the Mice industry in Thailand suffered a 60% drop year-on-year as Thailand received 10.5 million visitors and gained 61.3 billion baht in revenue.
Of the total Mice attendees, 500,090 were foreign travellers generating 29.8 billion baht. Domestic Mice visitors tallied nearly 10 million and generated 31.4 billion baht in income.
For fiscal 2021 starting on Oct 1, TCEB wants to increase both income and numbers of Mice travellers by 3.5% year-on-year.
Mr Chiruit said the agency aims to secure 40 billion baht from the international market through potential business trips to Thailand in April next year, while domestic market is set to contribute 30 billion to the economy.