TCEB rebranding and new developments to drive strong growth in 2013
Thailand’s MICE industry enjoyed a buoyant year in 2012; MICE visitor numbers to Thailand reached 895,224, exceeding the annual target set by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau. TCEB is confident of continuing growth in 2013, driven by a major rebranding and strategic repositioning of the organization, and continuing strong public and private sector investment in MICE venues and related developments.
Thailand’s MICE industry was responsible for 9.49 percent of all tourism earnings in 2012. Conventions contributed 33 percent, followed by corporate meetings and incentive travel, which contributed 25 and 24 percent respectively. International exhibitions and trade shows accounted for 18 percent of total MICE revenues for 2012.
In 2012, Thailand hosted a total of 7,382 MICE events, 6.84 percent up from 2011, while the number of visitors grew by 7 percent, reflecting TCEB’s success in attracting mega-events to Thailand. Last year, the average stay for overseas MICE visitors was 5.5 days, with an average contribution of US $536, or 16,084 Baht per person per day.
“Thailand aims to tap into the dynamic Oceania MICE market, particularly Australia which is one of the key future markets for Thailand’s MICE industry. In 2012, Australia was also one of Thailand’s top ten MICE travelers, with 14,655 MICE visitors. In 2013, Thailand’s Oceania MICE business is expected to grow by 10 percent. We are confident that TCEB’s participation at AIME will contribute to our efforts to build Thailand’s share of this dynamic regional market,” disclosed Ms. Parichat Svetasreni, Marketing Communications Director of TCEB.
“Moreover, we are currently in the process of reconfiguring and rebranding the TCEB organization in order to drive new business growth, focusing on the Asia and ASEAN+6 markets. The strategy is based on five key Drivers of Growth: as a Strategic Business Partner; as a Thought Leader and Solution Provider to stimulate creative leadership; as a Business Connector, facilitating new partnerships; and lastly as a MICE Capabilities Developer, to strengthen human resource capacity and raise the calibre of MICE professionals in Thailand in line with global expectations.
“Together with the boost to the MICE industry given by the recent surge in investment in new convention venues, hotels, cultural attractions, and mass transit systems, we believe that this repositioning will help drive growth, create new economic value and increase revenues. In summary, Thailand’s MICE industry is most definitely ‘On the Rise’. In 2013, we anticipate a boost in MICE industry earnings to reach US $2.93 billion or 88 billion Baht.
“However, Thailand remains the top MICE destination not only because of its world class facilities, services and infrastructure, but also because of the uniqueness of its cultural heritage, the range of leisure activities, of course our cuisine, and perhaps most important of all, the friendliness and kindness of Thai people.” concluded Ms. Parichat.
10 New Developments in Thailand
A surge in investment in MICE-related projects resulted in the opening of dedicated new convention venues, hotels, cultural attractions, retail projects and infrastructure developments in 2012, adding even more choice to the diversity of options already available to MICE visitors in Thailand.
New Hotels and Convention Venues
- Phothalai Leisure Park, Thailand’s new MICE benchmark, is a state-of-the-art convention and event venue located right in the heart of Bangkok. Its 10 tastefully decorated function rooms offer unlimited options for up to 2,000 delegates, with both indoor and outdoor venues. The function rooms are fully equipped with the latest AV and internet technologies, and supported by an in-house creative and event service team. Phothalai has its own world-class spa, 8 restaurants and lifestyle cafés, wine cellar dining, and Asia’s first 6-star golf and leisure complex.
- Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) is a new mid-town facility for the contemporary arts. Programmes for art, music, theatre, film, design, as well as cultural and educational events take place in a friendly and recreational atmosphere. The Centre also has restaurants, a café, bookshops and an art library within the facility. BACC comprises 10 floors including exhibition space and main galleries covering more than 3,500 m2. Its 222-seat auditorium is designed for musical events and film screenings. BACC also offers a multifunction room with 250 seats and a meeting room designed for conferences, community meetings, lectures and workshops.
- Central Embassy is a stunning, high-end retail development in Bangkok centrally situated on a site previously occupied by the British Embassy. Retail space is already 70 percent sold and will open later this year. Altogether, the property is currently undergoing close to US $3 billion of development, targeting high-end and international visitors, and including approximately 5,000 new 5-star hotel rooms. Its central location and easy access by Skytrain make it the city’s most impressive retail and hospitality destination.
- The Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand is staking a claim on Bangkok’s fashionable and buzzing Sukhumvit Road. The Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok will have 285 guest rooms and 35 suites, and is scheduled to open in May 2013 with accommodation, restaurants and amenities that will attract both tourists and business guests alike.
- The 80-room Huachang Heritage Hotel Bangkok is inspired by the new Thai colonial style, an elegant blend of Western-influenced architecture and contemporary Thai design, evoking the nostalgic charm of the architecture of the King Rama V period. The hotel is located on Phayathai Road, Pathumwan District, across the road from Sra Prathum Palace. A wide choice of leading shopping complexes, the BTS Skytrain, the National Stadium and many tourist attractions are located within walking distance.
- Outside Bangkok, Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa, located on Lamai Beach just 20 minutes from Samui International Airport, is an enchanting island hideaway. Its 14 villas and 63 suites are set in stunning gardens with breathtaking views over the Gulf of Thailand. The Library—a refined meeting room—and a selection of breathtaking outdoor spaces can be transformed to suit a MICE organizer’s vision. For an unforgettable board meeting or stunning beachside cocktail function, Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa will inspire creativity and its dedicated events team will ensure the success of any event. Winner of the World Travel Awards for Asia’s Leading New Resort 2012.
Shopping and Culture
- After 5 months of renovation, Siam Center, one of Bangkok’s most iconic malls, reopened its doors on 11 January 2013 with a brand new look to mark its 40th anniversary. The new design has been dubbed “Ideaopolis” and the mall aims to offer inspirational spaces for art and design, befitting its reputation as the vanguard of the local fashion scene. To celebrate its reopening, the mall will curate a fashion-focused exhibition showcasing the works of Andy Warhol, Comme de Garcon and Yohji Yamamoto, alongside works by top local designers.
- Bangkok’s new The Museum of Floral Culture is the brainchild of floral artist Sakul Intakul, who converted an old colonial building into a museum for floral art and design. The massive golden teak building dates back to 1920, and showcases a fascinating and unique collection, that reflects an important Thai cultural tradition. The museum also features unique exhibits of important floral cultures from across Asia.
- Terminal 21 is one of Bangkok’s newest shopping complexes. Its airport-based theme combines the elegance and atmosphere of some of the world’s top destinations—Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood—all under one roof and connected via a 36-metre escalator. Enjoy a perfect combination of fashion, food, and film, with more than 600 high-class shops for discerning urbanistas. The brand new Terminal 21 is easily reached via BTS and MRT train services– ‘The Whole World is Here’.
Mass Transit System
- Bangkok’s Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) underground network will see four more extensions opened over the next two years, whilst The Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) is also undergoing major expansion, including routes from Wong Wien Yai to Pho Nimit and Wutthakat, ending at Bang Wa, and from National Stadium to Yotse, with further extensions planned from Bearing to Sri Nakarin Road.