TCEB, Thai Airways dangle new bait for SE Asian groups

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Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Thai Airways International (TG) have unveiled their first joint campaign for the year, ASEAN MaxiMICE, targeted at business events travellers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore.

Under ASEAN MaxiMICE, privileges are offered to groups across three tiers – Silver for 40-99 pax, Gold for 100-149 pax, and Platinum for 150 pax and more. Privileges include a dedicated immigration lane, cultural performances, additional baggage allowance, pre-assigned group seating, and BTS Card for skytrain travel, among others. To qualify, groups must arrive in Thailand on a TG flight, and stay for at least two nights.

TCEB’s Nooch and TG’s general manager Singapore, Nivat Chantarachoti

When asked about support for South-east Asia’s other regional markets Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), Nooch Homrossukhon, TCEB’s director of meetings and incentives department, told TTGmice: “These are emerging markets, and have different needs and preferences when it comes to doing MICE business in Thailand. We need to conduct more marketing activities and develop closer relationships to understand their requirements and expectations.”

She, however, highlighted that Vietnam and Cambodia have “huge potential”, and this campaign or a similar one may be expanded to include other South-east Asian markets in the future.

For now, Nooch targets at least a five per cent increase each in business events travellers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore.

As TCEB has only one representative in Singapore, Nooch pointed out that the bureau would be “relying pretty much on TG’s support in the other three countries”, where the airline would help promote the campaign both online and offline.

In 2018, South-east Asian business travellers to Thailand grew 58 per cent. From the region, the four largest markets are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Arrivals from these markets collectively grew 30 per cent and accounted for 68 per cent of all South-east Asian business travellers. For the fiscal year October 2017-September 2018, Thailand welcomed almost 1.3 million MICE visitors.

Similarly for TG, Asia is the airline’s fastest growing market, contributing more than 50 per cent of TG’s overall revenue, shared Siriphong Mangkalee, regional director ASEAN.

Applications for ASEAN MaxiMICE are open from February 1 until August 31, 2019, with travel to be completed by September 30, 2019.

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