How Thailand is blurring the business, pleasure lines

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It’s little wonder the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and the Thailand Tourism Authority (TAT) work so closely together to bring travellers to Thailand, where business and leisure so often mix – and combine so well.

Thailand’s position as one of Asia’s most popular MICE and business travel destinations, together with its place as one of the world’s premier tourist spots, gives both entities the chance to feed off one another – and it’s a strategy not lost on Thai authorities.

From the annual ‘Thailand Connect’ event, which aims to promote MICE travel in Thailand, TAT advertising executive director Mr Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya said developing new and niche markets, such as MICE, was a way of attracting “quality tourists” to Thailand.

Chiang Rai

“This is why TAT supports the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau in promoting the amazing venues for MICE events as well as Thailand’s wide range of activities and destinations,” he said.

“The promotion of Thailand as a quality leisure destination through Thai-ness ties in with this strategy by showcasing the kingdom’s unique experiences, hospitality, shopping and spas to tempt business events visitors to enjoy extended breaks, and to experience more that Thailand can offer.”

Another goal of TAT, together with TCEB, is to encourage both leisure and MICE visitors to uncover local stories and experiences.

“As a tourist, rather having come to Thailand to just take photos and go back; we want them to stay a bit longer and experience something deeper,” Mr Chattan said.

“We believe that all around you, there are stories to be told, stories to be discovered.

“It can be anything from walking through a local market to fine dining up in a skyscraper.”

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The goal of tapping into the MICE visitor, who according to TCEB chairman Weerasak Kowsurat can spend up to three times as much as the holidaymaker, also ties in with TAT’s public push for more quality tourists, among whom are high-spending Australians.

Last year, Thailand welcomed over a million MICE visitors, who spent more than US$2 billion. Australia was represented in the top ten markets.

This year, TCEB has forecast 5% more visitors and a 25% increase in spending.

Traveltalk was on location at the Thailand Connect event, which was held in Bangkok and Chiang Rai.

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