Thailand as A Preferred and Leading MICE Destination in Post-COVID-19
- Özgür Töre
In response to the gradual easing of lockdown measures, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is hosting a virtual conference under the theme “Thai MICE and the Post-COVID-19 New Normal” to reignite and reshape Thai MICE industry facing the changing environment.
The conference will be honored by the virtual presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister, Mr Anutin Charnvirakul, who is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on the importance of MICE industry and how the pandemic can highlight Thailand’s strength sectors where MICE can be a tool to propel the country into a leading destination. Discussion among TCEB, public health agency and MICE city destinations on health issues will follow with a particular focus on how such issue will reshape business events organization and how city destinations and MICE entrepreneurs nationwide should be prepared and continue business.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister, Mr Anutin Charnvirakul, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge for governments around the world. Successful countries have been able to not only halt the outbreak, but also strike a balance between putting the spread under control and sustaining the economy as well as returning daily life to normal as far as possible even without a vaccine against the disease.
“The medical personnel, public health organizations, the government and private sector have worked very hard to control the outbreak, which has finally led to the relaxation of some social restrictions and lockdown measures to allow the resumption of economic activities. Despite maintaining stringent public health measures, the government has developed relief measures to assist affected MICE entrepreneurs. MICE Venue Hygiene Guidelines is one such key measure designed to respond to the new normal conditions. For the socio-economic recovery, the government is placing emphasis on creating the events to support MICE entrepreneurs and help business to recover as soon as possible,” Deputy Prime Minister Anutin said.
Regarding Thailand’s key strength sectors that can create potential MICE business opportunities in the aftermath of COVID-19, he stressed that Thailand can become a preferred and leading MICE destination in three disciplines: safe tourism center, a medical and public health center, and a global food safety center. The possibility is based on the country’s high profile in public health standards and global standards of its food industry. However, technology and innovation must be utilized to support such business opportunities in meeting and matching the new normal.
Mrs. Supawan Teerarat, Senior Vice President for Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, stated that TCEB is moving forward the industry to meet the new challenges through various projects which is in line with the government's policy for the promotion and recovery of the MICE industry. For instance, TCEB has supported venues certified with Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) to upgrade their health standards which will enhance the confidence of both event organizers and visitors. In terms of business channel, the bureau has implemented Virtual Meeting Space (VMS) to support organizers to stage their meetings via webinar and hold exhibitions on 020 or Offline to Online platform. Furthermore, TCEB has set up the TCEB COVID-19 Center and portal to provide real-time and up-to-date information for both domestic and international target groups.
"Today, our strategy for MICE industry recovery focuses on forming partnerships between public and private sectors to stimulate domestic MICE events, both seminars and exhibitions, while complying with the government's required health practices and meeting the relaxed lockdown measures. Initially, the bureau is aiming to support events located at venues that meet the required standards and using exhibition space not exceeding 20,000 sqm.
Part of the recovery measures is to drive MICE Cities that are ready to comply with health measures. TCEB’s four regional offices are now working in full steam to support the city destinations, their local associations and MICE operators so that they can capitalise on MICE recovery measures and, thus, create jobs at the local level nationwide" Mrs. Supawan concluded.