Thailand as a MICE destination
Bound for Bangkok, I was engrossed playing a game onboard Thai Airways, one of our trip’s sponsor when the passenger seated beside me asked if he should also fill out the form, the immigration card, that I inserted in my passport. I answered in the affirmative and told him to ask one from the flight attendant. He stood and looked for a stewardess and returned with the form at hand. I was puzzled why he had to do it when he could just press the button on the overhead. I brushed the thought aside and returned to my game.
The man returned holding a blank immigration card. As he started filling it out, he asked me about a particular item on the card. Then more questions followed. I quipped my one-liners, not ready to engage in a conversation while I was focused on the game before me. He must have anticipated an irate seatmate so he shyly said, “It’s my first time,” and smiled apologetically. I then guided him on the form, guilty that I didn’t appear helpful to him.
I sympathized with him having been in his shoes many years back. My first trip outside of the Philippines came to mind. I was also flying to Bangkok at that time. The difference was that I was with two colleagues while this man was on his own, feeling his way around on what to do next in this totally new experience. Though I was with my office-mates during my first trip, I was also a bit clueless about certain travel procedures.
That trip also afforded me the opportunity to visit Chiang Mai, the second largest city in Thailand, located in the northern region, albeit only for a day. Now, the last trip I was taking was my nth entry to the Kingdom of Thailand — my most visited — and I realized that all those trips were made for the purpose of attending business meetings or conferences save for one, which was joining a familiarization trip.
This time, it would be a mixture of both. Recently, I was invited by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), through its PR representatives at Bangkok Writer, to a familiarization trip on its campaign “Thailand Connect: Hip & Heritage Business Events” that highlights the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing/conventions, and exhibitions/events) industry in their country.
The conventions I attended gave me a perspective on the needs of conference and workshop participants. On the other hand, my short stint working in a hotel provided me with a background in the aspect of hosting MICE-related activities.
In my succeeding entries, I will focus on the different places, attractions and activities we experienced that will provide MICE organizers and travelers with a glimpse of what they can enjoy in Thailand. TCEB made sure that we get to feel first-hand the advantages of the services they offer to business travelers. Case in point was the fast-track service through its Premium Lane that provides smooth immigration process, assistance through baggage claim, stay at the VIP lounge upon request, and police escort.
Interested in Thailand’s plans in boosting their MICE industry?
In an intimate press conference, Mrs Supawan Teerarat, Vice President, Strategic and Business Development of TCEB stated, “The perfect business event starts with a brilliant blend of local activities and dream destinations. TCEB designed the Thailand CONNECT: Hip & Heritage Business Events programme to demonstrate how Thailand’s unique attributes enable us to host any business event in every season. Each of Thailand’s myriad of MICE destinations offers world-class venues and state-of-the-art facilities, while outside the event venue delegates enjoy the country’s myriad of cultural and natural attractions.”
She proceeded with presenting us Thailand’s five officially-designated MICE cities, namely, Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Khon Kaen. Our fam trip focuses on Chiang Mai and a bit on Bangkok.
TCEB’s promotion of Thailand’s MICE sector will continue under its 5-year Master Plan. Its new campaign “Thailand CONNECT” will focus on diversity of destinations, unrivaled business opportunities, and high quality professionals.
Listening to Mrs. Teerarat as she shared to us TCEB’s plans and strategies, I couldn’t help but be excited to experience what they could offer to MICE travellers. You’ll find out more about the whole familiarization trip through my succeeding posts:
Thai Airways’ MICE Offers
My art elephant
First-time at the Siam Hotel
First-time in Asiatique the Riverfront
First-time in Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa
First-time in the Royal Project
First-time in 137 Pillars House
First-time to Design an Umbrella
Science & Tech fair at CMICE
First-time at the Chiang Mai Night Safari
First-time at the Lanna Folklife Museum
Wats in Chiang Mai
First-time in Novotel Suvarnabhumi
Thailand, I’ve been to your shores several times. Again, khap khun kha! I’ll see you again soon on my future travels and trips, whether for business or for leisure.
See a summary of our various activities in photos, taken by the official photographer of TCEB: