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Thailand sees surge in Mideast Mice visitors
April 2014 1197

IN early April, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised its citizens not to travel to Thailand unless they really had to, due to the tense political situation there. Despite the on-again off-again political turmoil, the Middle East represents the fastest-growing meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) market for Thailand, up 525 per cent in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 (October to December 2013).

Parichat Svetasreni, director of marketing and corporate image at Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), highlighted the importance of the Middle East at the Gulf Incentive Business Travel Meetings (GIBTM) exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

“In 2013, we welcomed more than one million Mice travellers from all over the world, including 15,000 from the Middle East, a number we expect to grow by 5 per cent in 2014.”

Asia was the best performing region accounting for 72 per cent of Thailand’s Mice visitors, having grown by 20.25 per cent last year. “We forecast a growth in Mice visitor numbers of 5 per cent, total of 987,000 visitors by this year-end, with revenues up by 10 per cent to $3.23 billion,” she added.

To support the drive for increased Mice visitors, the TCEB has also announced the introduction of the special ‘Thailand’s Mice Rewards’ package, which runs until September 2014.

Key elements of the ‘Thailand’s Mice Rewards’ scheme include ‘Meetings Bonus’, which offers organisers discounts for groups of 200 or more delegates visiting for three nights or longer to attend corporate meetings or incentive travel; and the ‘Conventions Bonus’, which offers associations, PCOs, governments and educational institutions significant discounts for groups of 300 or more delegates to international conventions held in Thailand.

Complementing these are TCEB’s ‘Business Up 2 U’ initiative, a fixed subsidy programme for exhibitions based on their previous years’ performance, which offers them TCEB’s guaranteed support; and ‘Be My Guest’, which aims to attract high-quality, international exhibition buyers and visitors with financial support for room night allocation, up to a maximum of two room nights per person per exhibition.

Complementing the scheme is TCEB’s online marketing plan 2014, with three key campaigns.

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