BANGKOK, June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) in cooperation with international exhibition and event bodies today held the Thailand MICE International Forum (TMIF) 2012 in Bangkok.
The Forum unites expertise from TCEB and the Asian Federation for Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA) and the US-based International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).
With the theme, "Connecting Asia, Connecting Success," the Forum has two goals: 1) domestically, to enhance the appreciation among Thailand's MICE operators of the importance and potential of the regional MICE industry, elevate its service standards and encourage the industry to prepare fully for a new competitive environment; and 2) internationally, to highlight Thailand's capabilities and readiness as a gateway to the regional MICE market in Asia.
"The forum opens the door for Thailand, as the platform of ASEAN, to serve as a focal point in harnessing and linking together the diverse strengths and potential of MICE players across the Asian region," said Mr Thongchai Sridama, Acting President of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).
TMIF 2012 comprises three major events: 1) an international forum, including seminars and keynote lectures from renowned leaders in the global MICE industry; 2) a business matching event, open to all participating MICE operators and visitors from Thailand and around the world, and 3) a Trade Promoter Roundtable Discussion dedicated to MICE industry development in the CLMV countries - Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Mr Thongchai said that despite last year's slowdown in the global MICE industry, triggered by the economic crises in Europe and USA, Asia's MICE industry has bucked the trend and continued its robust year-on-year growth.
Mr Thongchai said: "MICE organisers and travellers from around the world are starting to pay new attention to Asia as a global MICE destination. Moreover, the forthcoming creation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 highlights the increasing strategic importance and overall potential of the region's MICE sector. I believe the formation of the AEC is set to drive major growth and transformation in the region's MICE industry."
Last year, MICE travellers from Asia made a vital contribution to the strong growth in Thailand's MICE industry, with over 396,000 visitors, representing 47% of all MICE travellers. They contributed Baht 28.5 billion to Thailand's economy. Visitors from India, China, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia occupy the top five places among Asian MICE visitors.
"TMIF 2012 represents a great opportunity to link together and harness the potential of the entire region," said Thongchai. "The meeting will also highlight Thailand's regional leadership to a global audience. I am confident that this forum will help stimulate growth in the MICE industries in every Asian country, including Thailand," said Thongchai.
The international forum will cover strategically important themes relevant to the MICE industry's future trajectory, and will feature special keynote lectures as follows, including:
- Mr Pongsak Assakul, President of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, on the topic: "The ASEAN Economic Community: Double Impact on Economic Development and the MICE Industry";
- Keynote address by Kathy Breeden, IAEE President, on "The Resiliency of Business-to-Business Exhibitions";
- Keynote Address by Mr Edward Liu, AFECA President, on "Trends in Asia's Exhibition Industry beyond ASEAN Economic Community 2012".
Moreover, group discussions will cover MICE industry trends and future developments in Asia, destination management challenges and business opportunities following liberalization of the ASEAN Economic Community, and MICE business opportunities in the Mekong basin countries. Representatives of partner agencies and associations will include the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA), Thai Exhibition Association (TEA), Indonesian Congress and Convention Association (INCCA), Taiwan Exhibition and Convention Association (TECA), and the Philippine Association of Convention and Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (PACEOS), as well as many other private sector organizations.
"In hosting TMIF for the first time this year, we expect over 300 participants from 21 countries around the world. This is the first international forum for Thailand's MICE industry. It will serve as a platform for Thailand to discuss with CLMV member countries and explore avenues for joint development of the international exhibition industry. TCEB is confident that TMIF 2012 will accomplish its goals through the excellent cooperation of all parties. We're also delighted at the wide support expressed for Thailand to continue to host this event on an annual basis," said Thongchai.
To provide an overview of Thailand's MICE industry, a TCEB survey found that during 2011 Thailand welcomed over 840,000 MICE visitors, beating TCEB's target of 720,000 visitors, and generating foreign exchange revenues of over 70.6 billion Baht. In all, 6,803 international MICE events were held in Thailand last year, highlighting the robustness and vibrancy of Thailand's MICE industry and its positive outlook for the future.
Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau website: www.tceb.or.th
For more information, please contact:
Public Relations Department, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau
Ms Parichat Svetasreni
Mr Sumet Kanchanapan
SOURCE Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau