April 04, 2014 00:00 By Bamrung Amnatcharoenrit
The Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) will invite 100 big international companies to Bangkok by the end of this month to rebuild confidence and stimulate the market after the state of emergency in the capital was lifted recently.
Its initiative, called "Love MICE, Love Thailand", is being organised in cooperation with the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association. Foreign companies will be invited to stay at hotels in the Ratchaprasong area of central Bangkok from April 25-27 to witness the real business scene, which has returned to peace after it was previously a base of anti-government protesters.
TICA chairman Sumeth Suthat na Ayutthaya said this would also help boost Bangkok’s overall image, especially in the third and fourth quarters of this year. Currently, Ratchaprasong is the destination of 65 per cent of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) in the capital. The visitors are mainly from Asian countries, especially Japan, China and India.
He said the MICE market felt a pinch in the first quarter of this year, with a drop of 30 per cent. The seminar group, which had contributed 30 per cent of total MICE revenue, was hit especially hard.
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau is also making a big effort to revitalise the market. One of them is to encourage MICE players to make inroads internationally by offering 50 per cent subsidy. It will organise familiarisation trips for media, especially from Asia, because this region plays an important role in Thailand’s MICE market with more than 60 per cent share of the total.
Meanwhile, Tawatchai Arunyik, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, plans to talk to the Tourism and Sports Ministry over the use of the TAT logo by business operators. Some companies have given the logo a bad name by providing unfair service for travellers. The TAT logo is meant to boost the confidence of consumers and also sales. That makes it a marketing tool, but if firms behave irresponsibly it will damage TAT brand.