THAILAND has been rated the top destination for the meetings, incentive travel, convention and exhibition (MICE) sector, according to a survey released by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).
According to the survey, Thailand secured the top spot with the so-called delight factors in hospitality, value for money, good variety of international and local cuisine and MICE activities.
The poll was conducted by Custom Asia Co Ltd to survey and sought responses about the preferred destinations for business travel and MICE trips.
The TCEB also announced that Thailand was chosen as the host country for international conferences organised by the world's leading associations in events and travel incentive industries, UFI and SITE. These events, which will take place in Bangkok next year, will be emphasise Thailand's potential and its position as the leading MICE destination in the region.
TCEB president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya said that TCEB is 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.
Recently, TCEB had assigned the 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. Some 40 MICE professionals participated in the online bulletin board, and 649 took part in the online survey. These survey participants comprised four segments: MICE Players; business travellers; MICE visitors, associations and organisations related to MICE.
Thailand is ranked top as a preferred destination. More than 85 per cent of the survey respondents who have travelled to Thailand on business/MICE trips would like to revisit for their business/MICE trips in the future.
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. It is followed by Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong Australia, United State, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and China.
In addition, the result shows that Thailand secured the first rank as the choice for MICE destination.
According to the survey, the country features strengths in three areas, which are: basic requirements: connection hub, international standard accommodation, and great facilities; delight factors: great hospitality and delicious local cuisine; and unique experience: culture and heritage and the abundance of nature. Furthermore, the destination also offers a wide variety of activities beyond MICE, good accessibility to/from destination, endless business opportunities, and the uniqueness", he said.
Custom Asia Co Ltd’s chief executive officer Sukit Tanskul said that the survey also shows interesting results about main criteria in selecting MICE destinations. These criteria can be considered as important factors which MICE destination needs. They are: value for money, international standard accommodation, good accessibility, English proficiency, and compliance with corporate governance.
When analysing the criteria by segments, the survey shows 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.
Besides the survey, key events that affirm the position of Thailand as the world-class MICE destination include a number of leading international conventions that take place in the country. Next year, Thailand will be a host country for The 86th UFI Global Congress 2019, which is scheduled for November 6-9 at the Iconsiam
The event is expected to attract 450 professionals. In addition, in January the country will welcome SITE Global Conference 2019. The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence or SITE comprises more than 2,100 members and 29 local chapters in 84 countries.
Thailand is the first country in the Southeast Asia region that won the right to host the SITE Global Conference. More than 400 of attendees are expected to gather at this event, which will take place from January 11-13 January at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok.