The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has announced that the kingdom has counted more than eight million MICE travellers generating THB54 billion (US$1.7 billion) in the period ending March 2019, increases of 2.9% and 6.3% year-on-year.
International MICE markets registered 353,256 MICE travellers who generated THB26.7 billion (US$839 million). TCEB found that corporate meeting business marked the highest growth, both in terms of number and revenue. The number of travellers rose by 11%, contributing to the revenue growth of 7%.
The top five international MICE visitor source markets for Thailand are China (122,426 visitors), India (40,492), Japan (30,038), Hong Kong (26,021) and Indonesia (21,202).
The domestic MICE market registered MICE travellers of 7,752,864 generating THB28 billion (US$880 million), the majority of whom were participating in international exhibitions.
Domestic MICE has marked the highest growth in incentives, both in number and revenue. Traveller growth totalled 18%, whereas the revenue growth registered 180%.
The news comes as Thailand celebrated its rise up the annual ICCA rankings earlier this week, moving to fourth in Asia in the country rankings behind Japan, China and Korea, by hosting 171 international association events in 2018.
Bangkok jumped seven places on its 2017 city ranking to 10th globally with 135 events, just 10 short of Singapore in 8th position who was the only other Asian city represented in the top 10. Chiang Mai came in at 25th with 25 international events, while Pattaya took 60th place with 11.
TCEB president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, said: “The overall picture of Thai MICE market in Q2 indicated that Thailand has maintained our status as a significant MICE destination and has continued to gain trust to hold major events amidst the fluctuation and fierce competition.
“Triumphantly, we can say that the success is from strong collaborations of involving parties from public and private sectors, who have dedicated to boost the growth of national MICE and enable it to prosper with stability.”
According to a research conducted by Frost & Sullivan (Thailand) Co. Ltd., the study found that the economic impact of the MICE industry in the in the 2018 fiscal year (October 2017 – September 2018) reached THB251 billion (US$7.9 billion), a contribution the equivalent of 1.2% of Thailand’s GDP.
In 2019, TCEB forecasts that Thailand will welcome 35,982,000 MICE travellers, who will generate up to THB221,500 million (US$7 billion). The estimated number is divided into 1,320,000 international MICE travellers who will generate approximately THB100 billion (US$3.2 billion), and 34,662,000 domestic MICE travellers who will generate an approximate revenue of 121,000 billion (US$3.8 billion).
TCEB focuses on penetration into ASEAN+6 (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea) as well as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam as short-haul markets, while maintaining Europe as key long-haul markets.
Major events through September 2019 include Lanna Expo 2019 in Chiang Mai (400,000 visitors), Thailand Toy Expo 2019 (190,000), Bangkok Entertainment Fest 2019 (100,000) and the lifestyle trade show, TTC Fair Khon Kaen (100,000).