Global telecoms meeting in Bangkok heralds busier days for Thai MICE sector

PLANS for a major telecoms gathering in Bangkok at the end of the year are signalling renewed confidence in the Thai capital for hosting big meetings, sources have toldTTGmice e-Weekly.

The Geneva-headquarted International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is slated to host its ITU Telecom World 2016 at Bangkok’s IMPACT Arena, Exhibition and Convention Centre from November 14 to 17, said Negar Takesh, head, marketing communications service of ITU Telecom World.

Although Takesh has acknowledged Thailand’s “past political situations and natural hazards” and that these “could change quickly”, she told TTGmice e-Weekly in an interview that these risks were already factored in when planning the event.

While she shared that risk mitigation procedures were in place, Takesh did not detail what these were.

Thai MICE specialists are jubilant that ITU has decided to take its global gathering to Bangkok, and are expectant of busier days to come after years of political strife, bomb incidents and floods that have stunted the potential growth of the country’s MICE sector.

Ianic Menard, vice president of sales, marketing & distribution for AccorHotels, Upper Southeast Asia, which has more than 20 properties in the capital city, commented: “The event is a sign of increased confidence in Thailand as a MICE destination. We’re hopeful that ITU Telecom World, with its audience of public and private innovators and affiliation with the United Nations, will be followed by many such events in the Kingdom.”

Hosting the meeting is expected to generate some 400 million baht (US$15.8 million) for the country’s hospitality and tourism sector, noted Sumate Sudasna, president of the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association, who made this calculation based on the per capita expenditure of 100,000 baht for up to 4,000 participants staying an average of four nights.

Sumate added that the delegates could use an estimated 16,000 hotel rooms and extend their stay to other destinations in the country for pre- and post-show programmes.

“We believe decision-makers of events will be more confident in Thailand, and trust that ITU Telecom World 2016 will add weight to that perception,” said Sumate.

ITU Telecom World was held in Budapest last year. It drew 4,000 participants, 247 speakers, 238 exhibitors and 239 information and communications technology leaders from both the private and public sectors.

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