Industry goes mad over Mice
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is kicking off its 20-year roadmap, aiming to draw nearly 80 million visitors for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) and generate 8.66 trillion baht in revenue in those years.
Under the plan, 3.08 million will be international Mice visitors and 76.1 million will come from the domestic market by 2036. International Mice visitors will generate 5.57 trillion baht and domestic Mice visitors will contribute 3.09 trillion baht.
Hotels and exhibition operators across the country are investing in Mice facilities to cope with higher demand.
TCEB vice-president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, who will be appointed president this month, said judging from rapid growth in recent years, the Mice segment is on the rise despite negative factors such as political instability and natural disasters.
The government approved a 20-year Mice roadmap that was kicked off this year. The bureau aims to triple the number of Mice visitors from overseas to 3.08 million in 2036 from 1 million in 2016.
Domestic Mice visitors are expected to surge to 76.1 million in 2036 from 28.8 million last year.
Foreigners who come to Thailand for business are projected to spend 5.57 trillion baht in 2036, up from 810 billion baht last year. Local Mice visitors are expected to generate 3.09 trillion baht in 2036, up from 730 billion baht last year.
According to the TCEB master plan, Thailand has high potential to become a solid Mice hub in Asia. The country is competing against major rivals like Singapore and Hong Kong.
“Thailand draws strength from a great geographical location, which makes us more competitive in Mice,” Mr Chiruit said.
He said the government should provide foreign investors as well as local entrepreneurs the best facilities and services for investment or expansion, particularly in the Eastern Economic Corridor, which is being heavily promoted.
Earlier, TCEB announced it would develop six core measures for its 2015-19 plan, mostly focused on improving Thai Mice venue standards.
To cash in on the prospects, many Mice facilities are being developed by private operators.
Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Bitec) is set to open the 7-billion-baht Bhiraj Tower soon while NCC Management and Development has received a contract renewal for another 50 years to manage Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.
NCC has an expansion plan budgeted with 6 billion baht to expand the venue space, commercial areas, and the parking lot with at least 180,000 square metres of space.
Ascott earlier said it would develop Somerset Ekamai Bangkok as its first mixed-use project comprising 211 residential units for both sale and corporate lease, as well as a multi-function conference centre with 51 rooms. The whole project will be open by June.
More properties suitable for Mice are in the pipeline over the next 18 months, such as Citadines Jomtien Beach Pattaya, Citadines North Pattaya, Somerset Maison Asoke Bangkok and Somerset Harbourview Sri Racha.
Hotel Pullman Bangkok King Power will unveil a multi-million-dollar renovation for its lobby, guest rooms, executive lounge, restaurants and bars, and swimming pool. The hotel will also add a daylight ballroom.
In Khon Kaen, CP Land is developing a convention centre on a 26 rai of land called Khon Kaen Convention Exhibition Center, with a 1-billion-baht investment. The new Mice venue will provide a space of 26,000 sq m for up to 7,000 seats and is expected to be completed in 2017.
Paul Kanjanapas, managing director of Impact Muang Thong Thani, is developing facilities worth a combined 5.66 billion baht, due to be completed by 2019.
The investment will consist of the 587room Ibis Bangkok Impact Hotel, the Portal retail plaza, Cosmo Office Park and Cosmo Bazaar shopping mall, Pullman Hotel, and a shopping centre Beach Club.