The campaign, under the banners “Meeting in Thailand is safer” and “10 creative MICE routes”, aims to help reduce Phuket;s dependence on foriegn tourists, and follows the success of the TCEB’s campaign last year, explained Pattanachai Singhavara, Director of the TCEB’s Southern Regional Office.
Mr Pattanachai held a press conference in Phuket Town last Thursday (Nov 18) to raise awareness of the campaign, joined by Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong.
The Meeting in Thailand is Safer project was launched in 2020 has been well received, Mr Pattanachai said, resulting in spending in the economy of more than B237 million.
“In 2021, TCEB allocated a budget of B20mn and developed a system for requesting support to be fully digital through the platform ThaiMICEConnect.com, which is an easy way to apply for support through an e-MICE Marketplace. This helps to reduce the steps of organising an event,” Mr Pattanachai explained.
As of Nov 12, 2021, there had been 813 applications for support submitted through the online platform. “There are even more as of today. The events submitted will support over 1,000 jobs,” he added.
“According to our research, the economic impact of the Safe Thailand Conference Project [sic] from April 16 - September 30, 2021 showed that 43,530 people attended the events, which cost B63 million to organise,” Mr Pattanachai said.
“During that period 637 events were approved, resulting in 2,187 activities being held, creating a total direct and indirect economic impact of B119mn and creating 966 jobs, indicating that domestic symposiums are still considered a key tool in stimulating economic circulation and keeping the MICE industry ecosystem powered,” he noted.
“The TCEB therefore plans to further focus on the domestic MICE market, to reduce the risk of relying solely on foreign markets,” he said.
All events supported must fully comply with COVID-19 prevention measures, he added.
“In addition, the TCEB has recently developed marketing tools, such as the ‘10 Creative MICE Routes’ project, in collaboration with DMC Group [Destination Management Company] to design routes to create new business opportunities, stimulate and drive public and private organisations. to organise meetings, seminars and activities throughout the country under safety and hygiene measures,” Mr Pattanachai continued.
“You can click to request a quote easily via www.thaimiceconnect.com as well. It is expected that there will be a good response from the fact that many provinces have started to open the city for activities and most people are fully vaccinated,” he said.
“Meanwhile, the "Meeting in Thailand is Safer" project continues to be open for support from September 15 to December 15, 2021 or until the amount of support budget is reached,” Mr Pattanchai said.
Under the project, event organisers can request budget support of B15,000 for organising activities for one day, but not less than 6 hours, and B30,000 baht for organising activities for two day, one night, such as meetings, seminars, training conferences, incentive trips or even social activities and study tour activities, “or any activity in the community”, he added.
Requests for support must be submitted nine days before the start of the activity and the activities must be completed by December 31, 2021, he said.
Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Chuwong plainly voiced his support for the campaign.
“Phuket is well known as a MICE destination, with its potential to accommodate MICE events from both domestic and international markets, in terms of venues, transportation and tourist attractions to be used and enjoyed before and after meetings and seminars,” he said.
“It is also world renowned as a destination for both local and global MICE travellers, who each year visit many places in Phuket. Whether it is the Phuket Old Town area, the beach, the sea, or the beautiful natural attractions; they are no less popular than each other,” he said.
“But with the epidemic situation of COVID-19 that caused the revenue from MICE activities and tourism to drop considerably, it has been a big challenge for all of us, from the community level to the local level to the national level,” he added.
“Before the Phuket Sandbox project, more than 95% of the population in Phuket was engaged in services such as car rental, hotels and restaurants ‒ all of which have been disrupted. But since the [Sandbox] project started in July up until now, it has become evident that business in the province has become more active,” V/Gov Piyapong said.
“Now with government policy to open the country seriously, this will result in a clearer picture of the economic movement, whether in meetings, seminars, off-site activities of various organisations.
“This is a good thing and should be done with cooperation from all sectors, because when an event occurs, everyone benefits together. The Meeting in Thailand is Safer project will be another project that helps drive the business of the province as a whole,” he said.
Application forms are available from www.thaimiceconnect.com, Facebook: Thai MICE Connect or Line: @thaimiceconnect. Alternatively people interested in the campaign can call the TCEB at 02-793 3456 Monday-Friday, 8:30am - 5:30pm, except public holidays.