Senior Economist at The Economist Corporate Network, Ross O’Brien, was
the keynote speaker at this year’s Thailand Convention and Exhibition
Bureau London roadshow, Thailand-Connect, held at Le Meridien
Piccadilly, 16 May.
Ambassador to London, H.E. Mr Pasan Teparak,
welcomed the guests to the roadshow which he said, was “part of a
broader policy to promote economic co-operation between the UK and
Thailand”. The ambassador pointed to growing bilateral UK-Thailand
trade, now worth £5bn. Thailand, he added, was ranked in the top 20
countries for ease of doing business, according to the World Bank.
CN Editor Paul Colston moderated TCEB’s Thailand
Meetings Industry Session, with a presentation on the latest statistics
and investments from Ms Vichaya Soonthornsaratoon, Director of Meetings
Industry at TCEB.
With Thailand rising 10 places to 25 in the
latest ICCA Country Rankings, the invited association meeting planners
and agencies in attendance heard about a country at the heart of Asia
and its plans for building on the latest MICE momentum.
Vichaya told the audience that conventions made up 33 per cent of the
country’s MICE earnings for 2012, with corporate meetings and incentives
adding a further 25 and 24 per cent respectively. Exhibitions
contributed 18 per cent of the total. “Total MICE business was worth
US$2.66bn in 2012 to the country,” said Ms Vichaya.
Knights, Past President of the International Tunnelling and Underground
Space Association, shared his impressions of taking a major convention
to Thailand and recommended Bangkok and the collaboration process with
TCEB in planning the logistics. “The TCEB bid presentation was
professional and sophisticated, compared to the statistics-heavy
presentation from China,” he said.
Ms Vichaya reiterated the help
that TCEB cold offer organisers, including financial subvention for
large qualifying events bringing in over 1,000 delegates.
separate panel debate on Thailand’s exhibitions potential featured
Quartz Business Media MD Paul Michael, Tarsus MD Doug Emslie, Mack
Brooks Exhibition Director Michael Wilton and Bangkok International
Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) Business Development Director Sarnit
Supawan Teerarat, TCEB’s Director of Exhibitions, said Europe was a vital source for Thailand’s MICE industry.
2012, over 77,308 European MICE delegates visited Thailand, with UK,
Germany, France, Netherlands and Spain ranking the highest. In all, the
EU accounts for almost 11 per cent of Thailand’s total MICE market.
opportunities in Thailand and Asia are made available through
Thailand’s vibrant business events platform,” concluded Supawan. “We
also want to use the growing trade and tourism link to convince the
United Kingdom MICE professionals to hold business events on Thai soil.
hope that UK MICE professionals will link up and connect with our Thai
counterparts and promote further trade and business events activities
between our two countries.”