Thailand high on the Aussie ‘bleisure’ radar

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Aussies love to holiday in Thailand. But Australians also love travelling to Southeast Asian nation for business and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events), positioning itself as one of the top ten MICE markets for the country.

Spending some $70 million in 2015, meetings and events travellers from down under flocked to Thailand last year, thanks largely to the country’s varied destinations and unique events experiences.

Making the Aussie MICE traveller even more appealing to Thailand, is the fact Australians spend more per capita than most, which similarly applies to its leisure travellers.

So what makes Thailand such a popular “bleisure” (business and leisure) destination for Aussies?

According to Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) president Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, it’s largely down to the similar mindset the countries share.

Sitting down with Traveltalk at the annual Thailand Connect event – this year held in Bangkok and Chiang Rai – Mr Nopparat spoke highly of the Australian visitor’s relaxed and open-minded personality, as well as their supporting nature.

“But of course they also love the food, the weather, and the people,” he said of the Aussie MICE visitor, which consists mainly of meetings and incentives travellers.

From October 2015 to March 2016, Thailand welcomed nearly half a million business events travellers, who spent over US$1.1 billion.

In 2015, its ranking among Asia-Pacific nations rose to sixth place behind Japan, China, Korea, Australia and Singapore, while capital Bangkok, ranked fourth among APAC cities, just behind Singapore, Seoul and Hong Kong.

Aiming to raise awareness of the Thai MICE industry’s ability to host world-class events, TCEB recently unveiled the ‘Thailand CONNECT Welcome Package 2016’, which extends special privileges to MICE and leisure travellers to the country.

Traveltalk was in Thailand as a guest of TCEB, and stayed at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers.

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