TCEB IT specialist Sarita Chintakanond
TCEB IT specialist Sarita Chintakanond

Smart village plan pulls in partners for tech vision

Economy December 14, 2017 01:00


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THE Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has formed partnerships with four companies and 11 startup enterprises to develop a smart village project in line with the government’s Pracha Rat policy.

Four communities have been selected as models under which their economies will be strengthened through the promotion of the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector and the creation of digital platforms.

TCEB IT specialist Sarita Chintakanond said the four companies are Tipco Foods, Krungsri Finovate, TV Thunder and Advanced Info Services. Joining them in the project are starts ZipEvent, Tickettail, Local Pillow, Local Alike, TripPacker, Hivesters, Penguint, Veget Deli, Happy Farmers, TakeMeTour and VT Thai.

 The smart village project, as a Pracha Rat (state of the people) initiative, is aimed at playing a role in moving Thailand forward through the development of grassroots economy.

Sarita said the initiative would encourage companies to organise outing events and corporate social responsibility activities in the targeted communities. Eventually, the project would help generate in-|come to these local economies |sustainably following a public-private partnership strategy. The main objective was to foster a more |equitable income distribution in the local communities and reduce disparities.

The startup enterprises would support the communities to develop businesses based on the distinctive characteristics and cultural aspects of these communities.

Members of the community members would learn how “to enhance the capabilities and opportunities through creative ideas, innovations and technology”, Sarita said.

Sarita said the four selected communities were in provinces - Suan Phueng in Ratchaburi; Pak Phraek in Kanchanaburi; Doi Mae Salong Nok in Chiang Rai; and Wang Nam Khiao in Nakhon Ratchasima - and they will sit alongside five cities with established MICE profiles: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya and Khon Kaen.

“Those communities have a great potential to cater to corporate activities involving at least 20 participants,” Sarita said.

“Moreover, each community has its readiness to develop in four aspects: smart culture to make contemporary culture in a way that creates a new charm for travellers; smart community to adopt innovation as a tool to enhance collaboration among stakeholders; smart experience to offer new experiences and new approaches such as interesting itinerary plans for company outing activities; and Smart MICE to demonstrate the capabilities and readiness of the communities for MICE events including accommodation, transport, facilities and tourist attractions.” 

The TCEB would support communities’ knowledge to develop |programmes with designs and |creative ideas as well as innova-|tions that make them become attractive destinations for corporate outings.

In addition to the dissemination of products and services as well as activities on websites, the participating startups will create online channels to promote community activities, Sarita said.

For example, Local Pillow provides online bookings for homestays in the Prakphaek community, Take Me Tour introduces an outing programme in Suan Pheung on its website, and ZipEvent offers online bookings for people to join activities in Wang Nam Khiao, such as a mushroom plantation workshop.