TCEB ramps up efforts to woo MICE groups back to Phuket

Chinese tourist looking to Seascape of Phuket Best sunset View Point Sunset at Phrom Thep Cape.

Incentive and corporate travellers will be among the first groups to return to Phuket when the Thai island reopens next month, and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau is aiming to lure even more.

TCEB’s president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya revealed to TTGmice that there have been “slight recovery signs”, where several “small groups of incentive travellers and corporate executives” will be calling on Phuket for their upcoming business events.

Chinese tourists at the Promthep Cape lookout point in Phuket

This comes from the recent announcement made by Thai authorities that Phuket will reopen on July 1, 2021, to vaccinated international tourists. If all goes to plan, it will be the first city in the Kingdom to do so.

In anticipation, TCEB has been in discussions with business events stakeholders and local authorities to revive the decimated industry.

Their immediate focus will be to attract shorthaul markets such as Singapore, Japan, India and Taiwan. To accomplish this, the bureau is in discussion with several airlines to increase seat capacities, and is planning to roll out a support package for groups of at least 30 staying in Thailand for at least two nights.

After which, TCEB will turn their attention towards China due to its vast potential. Five key industries TCEB aims to attract to Thailand once the overseas ban is lifted include the cosmetic, insurance, MLM direct sales, pharmaceutical and drugs, and manufacturing of industrial products and electronic games. Prior to the pandemic, these industries have all organised large-scale incentive and meeting trips to the Kingdom.

While hopeful for the revival of the industry, Chiruit is aware that the recovery of the business events sector will depend on factors such as the number of people vaccinated globally, the outbound travel policy in other countries, and the speed at which the Thai population is inoculated.

In fiscal year 2021 (October 2020 to September 2021), 14 international business events were cancelled, 39 have been postponed, and 44 appear to be proceeding as planned. Meanwhile, 14 domestic events have been cancelled, 44 have been postponed, and 33 events appear to be proceeding as planned.

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