Thailand’s MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) business is still actively operating in Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and other destinations around Thailand popular with international business travellers, despite the floods affecting parts of Bangkok and surrounding provinces.
Events including the Asia Pacific Gulf Summit 2011,in Pattaya, Nokia in Pattaya, Amway held in Chiang Mai among severl others went on unaffected by the difficulties experienced in Bangkok. Most of Thailand’s international airports are still operating normally, including Bangkok’s main international gateway, Suvarnabhumi Airport located East of Bangkok on the way to Pattaya, as are those operating in the country’s South (Phuket, Hat Yai and Samui) and North (Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai).
Mr. Akapol Sorasuchart, the President of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) said that the variety of destinations Thailand has to offer helps mitigate the impact of the floods affecting the Bangkok area. The TCEB was also taking steps by cooperating with the industry and expect that Thailand’s MICE business will remain stable and most events affected by the situation have been rescheduled.
In 2011, Thailand’s meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions sector attracted 720,000 business travellers and generated US$1.85 billion in revenue, compared respectively to 679,585 travellers in 2010.
The floods currently affecting Bangkok and some other central provinces along the Chao Phraya River are the worst to hit the country in over 50 years. Overall, about 14 MICE events, mostly tradeshows that were planned to be held in and around Bangkok during this current period this quarter were affected and there is an expected shortfall of 96,000 MICE visitors. The impact of the floods on domestic transportation in the Bangkok area has led to rescheduling of events due to concerns over participant numbers.
As part of its immediate and medium-term action plans to mitigate the crisis, the TCEB will provide updated information to all MICE industry stakeholders, as well as marketing support and technical assistance in various areas for events that have been rescheduled.