BANGKOK, 24 August 2015: Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau says it will pursue more events business from China claiming the market can deliver quality tourism and higher revenue from the meetings segment.
TCEB president, Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, said China is a key priority market for Thailand’s MICE sector, noting that the tourism industry should concentrate on meetings as the revenue earned is significantly higher than what can be achieved in the leisure travel sector.
“We have redefined key strategies to gain high quality corporate customers and incentive travel sectors.”
Thailand has a strong track record in the China market being one of the first destinations recognised as tour group destination when China strictly controlled outbound travel.
It was one of the first five destinations on a short list that Chinese tour operators could work with, but Thailand’s tourism planners are now keen to explore high spend markets mainly from eastern coast cities in mainland China.
The bureau recently introduced Khao Yai as Thailand’s latest MICE destination for the Chinese meetings and incentive travel besides the five MICE Cities– Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Khon Kaen.
“The introduction of new business event destinations such as Khao Yai, will give Chinese MICE visitors even more choices,” the president said.
Located just 205 km northeast of Bangkok, Khao Yai, on the main highway to Northeast Thailand, is noted for its cooler weather and a World Heritage national park. It has recently opened a convention centre and is a popular area for hotel development on the fringes of the national park.
In the first half of the year Thailand welcomed 32,149 Chinese MICE visitors, up from 12,563 in Q1 to 19,586 in Q2, according to the bureau’s data.
China was the top contributor to Thailand’s MICE industry in 2014, with a total 120,684 Chinese MICE visitors, generating revenues of RMB1.814 billion.
This year the leisure travel market from China will reach 7 to 8 million visits, but revenue earned well below the levels earned from MICE related travel.