Thai meeting and conventions industry growing despite world economic crisis

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BANGKOK, June 21 – Thailand’s MICE industry– which includes meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions, continues to grow, in contrast to the economic crises in Europe and the United States, said Thongchai Sridama, acting president of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).

Asia is a major target for MICE travellers, Mr Thongchai noted.

Travellers from Asia play an important role for Thailand’s MICE industry, counting for almost 400,000 visitors, or nearly half the total passenger numbers from Asia entering the country, and creating economic value for the Thai economy as much as about Bt28.5 billion.

Travellers from India, China, Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia rank as the top-five nationalities in the Thai MICE industry, and they spend well—an average of Bt93,600/per person.

During the opening ceremony of ‘Thailand MICE International Forum 2012’ (TMIF 2012), held from June 19-22, Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa said on Thursday the government had to go forward to boost tourism in order to attract 2 million travellers as targetted.

The number of tourists increased in the first five months of this year, or a 7-per cent rise year-on-year, despite the current eurozone debt crisis.

Thai tourism will not be much affected if there is no strong political conflicts in the country, he noted.

The number of tourists from 15 main countries has increased over 10 per cent, while there has been a rise of 26 per cent in the number of Chinese travellers in particular.

TMIF 2012 was held in conjunction with the 7th AFECA AGM and IAEE AEC Meeting, attracting about 300 MICE professionals from Thailand and overseas to discuss and share ideas and development of the industry at regional and international levels.