India has climbed to second position after China in generating MICE business to Thailand. Corporate meeting and incentive travel comprises 40 per cent of the total outbound Indian visitors and 12 percent to Thailand are MICE travellers. India has recorded an 18 per cent growth in MICE visits to Thailand.
Nitin Sachdeva, director of the India Representative Office for Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), said: “Thailand is a preferred destination for meetings and incentives. Corporates from India who start doing an international incentives programme, choose Thailand for various reasons including value for money. We are offering new products in the existing market and we are expanding to other cities.”
Thailand has augmented their MICE offering in cities such as Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Krabi. “While we are currently taking only small groups to the new destinations, we are preparing them for bigger numbers at the same time,” added Sachdeva.
While Thailand is on an expansionist mode to garner larger numbers from the Indian MICE market, they have successfully wooed major corporates from India and is now targeting the Tier II cities to attract small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Sachdeva added: “We are educating the SMEs about incentive travel, the trends of MICE and how it can help them boost their business. This is the method we first applied in Tier I markets and drove a lot of traffic and even helped SMEs in these Tier I cities expand. We are doing seminars to capture these SMEs. The 70 pc of MICE business from India actually comprises mostly of SMEs.”
The focus industries for Indian outbound MICE travel are insurance, banking, finance, direct selling, FMCG, construction and automobile.
Nooch Homrossukhon, director of the meetings and incentives department at TCEB, said: “Apart from the new product offering that we have, we are focusing on building a strong relationship with the corporates and the intermediaries.”
Customisation of MICE experiences is being prioritised. A range of cultural activities, which makes unique experience for guests, are being redesigned.
“We are creating something new every three months. The private companies are also creative and help us customise services. We also have a strong support network within the country and access to all industry partners that leads to successful events for clients,” said Homrossukhon.