Thailand secured the top spot with the delight factors in hospitality, value for money, good variety of international and local cuisine and MICE activities.
Meanwhile, TCEB also announced that Thailand is chosen to be the host country for the international conferences organised by the world’s leading associations in events and travel incentive industries, namely UFI and SITE. These events, to take place in Bangkok next year, will be emphasising Thailand’s potential and the position as leading MICE destination in the region.
The news also follows Thailand maintaining its title as the top conference destination of the Asean region for the second year in a row. According to the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Country and City Rankings Report 2017 released last month, Thailand hosted a total of 163 conferences in 2017, the highest among the countries in the Asean region. Singapore came second with 160 conferences, Malaysia third 112 conferences, Indonesia fourth 89 conferences, Vietnam fifth 64 conference and the Philippines sixth 56 conferences.
TCEB President Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya explained that with the TCEB tasked with promoting and developing business events in Thailand, the bureau has been working toward establishing Thailand as premier MICE destination and elevating the country to be the Top of Mind Destination for MICE.
“In order to identify the strengthens of Thailand to better attract the overseas MICE markets, the TCEB needs to study key factors that influence the destination choice, evaluate Thailand MICE destination image, and measure the competitiveness of Thailand when compared to other MICE destinations,” he said.
To this end, the TCEB recently commissioned Custom Asia Co Ltd – a member of Global Market Research Association, which has a network in 39 countries – to conduct a market survey on Thailand’s brand image as a Destination for MICE.
The research, which took place in 20 countries, focused on global MICE professionals and their outlooks on Thailand’s MICE brand. A total of 40 MICE professionals participated the online bulletin board, and 649 took part in the online survey. These survey participants comprised of four segments: 1) MICE Players; 2) Business Travellers; 3) MICE Visitors; and 4) Association and Organization related to MICE.
“Thailand is ranked a top list as a preferred destination which more than 85% the survey participants who have travelled to Thailand on business/MICE trips would like to revisit for their business/MICE trips in the future,” said TCEB President Mr Chiruit.
“Meanwhile, the participants see that when compared Thailand against the other MICE destinations, Thailand’s delights factors are great hospitality, value for money, and a good variety of international and local cuisine,” he added.
“In addition, the result shows that Thailand secured the first rank as the choice for MICE destination,” Mr Chiruit said.
According to the survey, the “Top 10 Preferred Choices for Revisit MICE Destination” were: 1 Thailand; 2) Japan; 3) Singapore; 4) Hong Kong; 5) Australia; 6) United States; 7) Germany; 8) Switzerland; 9) United Kingdom; and 10) China
“According to the survey, the country features strengths in three areas: 1) Basic Requirement: connection hub, international standard accommodation, and great facilities; 2) Delight Factors: great hospitality and delicious local cuisine; and 3) Unique Experience: culture & heritage and the abundance of nature, explained TCEB President Mr Chiruit.
“Further, the destination also offers a wide variety of activities beyond MICE, good accessibility to/from destination, endless business opportunities, and the uniqueness,” he added.
Sukit Tanskul, CEO of Custom Asia Co Ltd, noted that the survey also showed interesting results about main criteria in selecting MICE destinations.
“These criteria can be considered as important factors which MICE destination needs: value for money, international standard accommodation, good accessibility, English proficiency, and compliance with corporate governance,” he said.
When analysing the criteria by segments, the survey showed that MICE players look for ease of travel within the country. MICE visitors look for hospitality and value for money, business travellers look for good destination image and reputation, while MICE associations also look for within the budget accommodation choices, English proficiency, and unique destination.
Further, when considering activities highlighting the business/MICE trip, MICE visitors say that top three activities are pre-arranged business meeting at the events, gala dinner at the convention, and cultural shows at the MICE venue.
“The result can be implied that MICE operators should focus on these activities to impress the MICE visitors. Meanwhile, the TCEB can strengthen the communications activities by highlighting the key areas which are: the ease of travel within the country; good business opportunities; activities beyond MICE; world-class cuisine; and world-famous attraction, in order to match with the ideal brand image as the Top of Mind Destination for MICE,” said Mr Sukit.
“From the survey, we proposed the recommendation that Thailand’s MICE industry should focus on the current strengths. These strengths are: Offering with Convenience, Business Opportunity, and Uniqueness which include Service and Hospitality, Thai culture, and Thai cuisine,” he said.