Thailand means business after securing PCMA and UIA conferences in 2017

The year is already getting off to a vibrant start for Thailand’s conference sector. Thailand was selected to host two major education and networking events for regional and global associations in 2017, boosting the country’s profile as a premier destination for conferences from around the world. The two high-profile events show just how in-demand Thailand has become as a conference destination.

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Global Professionals Conference in the Asia-Pacific region comes to Asia for the first time in 2017, taking place in Bangkok from 28-31 August. The exclusive event brings 25 global planners from top associations and corporations together with 15 senior-level suppliers representing convention bureaus and centres from around the region. The conference is expected to provide a deeper understanding of the opportunities available throughout Asia Pacific and educates planners on how to maximize business events in the region.

From 21-22 September 2017, Chiang Mai will host the Union of International Associations (UIA) Association Round Table Asia Pacific 2017. This diverse event is made by and for associations. Over 100 representatives from international associations will head to Thailand to learn practical skills and share experiences in management, administration, policies, regulations, values and vision.

These two events reinforce Thailand’s rise as a conference destination. Bangkok’s global ranking as a destination for international conventions has improved, according to the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Statistical Report. Bangkok leapt 13 places from 29th in 2014 to 16th in 2015 compared to other cities worldwide.

Bid performance is a key factor allowing Thai associations to develop. In 2016, Thai associations won 16 bids to host international conferences during 2017-2020 in industries ranging from medicine, veterinary, engineering, biology, education, and music to business management and computer graphics.

Thailand’s attractiveness has been buoyed by the country’s popular destinations, including five key MICE cities: cosmopolitan Bangkok, cultural Chiang Mai in the North, the seaside city of Pattaya in the East, the island paradise of Phuket in the South and Khon Kaen, the hub of the Northeast and a gateway to Indochina. Each city has its own character and culture, with each offering an exciting journey to business success with high quality infrastructure and connectivity.

In terms of accessibility, Bangkok is the hub of Thailand and the Southeast Asian region while Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen are just a 60-minute flight from the capital. There are also direct flights connecting Phuket and Chiang Mai to China, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. Pattaya is within 1.5 hours’ drive from Bangkok’s main airport via the motorway.


Thailand’s meeting facilities are constantly undergoing improvements in order to meet and exceed global travellers’ expectations. In 2016 meeting space in Bangkok increased by over 14,000sqm. Two new convention hotels were opened while one convention center was further expanded, resulting in over 50 new meeting rooms.

2016 also saw a new convention center open in Chiang Mai, complete with a large hall accommodating up to 1,400 guests. There are also new convention centers being built in Pattaya and Bangkok.

Lifestyle developments in 2017 include Phuket being designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy and the opening of a unique cultural venue in Chiang Mai.

Bangkok is expected to become even more lively and attractive in 2017 with a new venue for live performances, a world-class karting facility, and over 10 new rooftop sky bars.

Convene in Thailand with Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s “Convene in Paradise” campaign and you could receive up to ฿1m (£22,600) support for your international event. To find out if your event qualifies and to start the easy application process, please email or visit

Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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