CULTURAL diversity, green landscapes, secluded beaches and local aromatic food with a spicy edge, makes Thailand an old-time favourite destination for MICE and business travellers.

With a flight time of around nine hours from Sydney to Bangkok, the destination is conveniently located for Australian event planners seeking to take groups abroad.

Early this year, in response to its increasing popularity, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) launched a new campaign to attract over 4,000 business events travellers to Thailand over the next four years.

The campaign provides site visit support for meeting and incentive organisers of events with upwards of 80 guests and more flexibility around financial support.

TCEB’s representative Nicole Tingey, Director of Clockwise Consulting said the new campaign has completely changed how event buyers view Thailand as a destination for their business events.

“The Thai MICE sector is mature and contains a deep understanding of the needs of Australian business events — built from experience,” said Tingey.

“That experience combined with incredible value-for-money means it is a great destination for Australian buyers.

“Whilst Thailand enjoys fantastic leisure market awareness, asking people to send hundreds for a conference requires more education.

“TCEB, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thai Airways International and the Royal Thai Consulate-General, Sydney are working together to provide real support to develop Thailand as a successful business events destination for Australian buyers,” she said.

Additionally, Thai Airways International recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with TCEB to support MICE travel. This collaboration was initiated to promote Thailand’s MICE industry so that it “may become the MICE industry centre for the ASEAN region”.

As Thailand’s MICE sector continues to grow, Banyan Tree Phuket resort has also recently opened its newly renovated 454m2 event venue, The Lagoon Deck. The space features floor to ceiling windows and 180 views overlooking the resort’s main lagoon and surroundings.

The Lagoon Deck is equipped for celebrations for up to 500 guests, dinners for up to 300 guests, and corporate meetings for up to 220 guests. Pillar-free and purpose built to host activities of all kinds, the venue combines the surrounding outdoor space with a large interior, capable of hosting a range of events from intimate Board of Directors retreats, to large corporate incentive groups, to weddings.

“The prospect of offering a completely new venue to host our international clientele and guests in this beautiful ballroom washed in natural daylight and moonlight with water views, is truly exciting,” said Sriram Kailasam, Area General Manager at the resort. “The imagination and creativity of the event organisers has no limits,” said Kailasam.

Thailand is also home to Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC), comprising of restaurants, meeting areas, a VIP lounge, business centre and exhibition spaces, capable of hosting up to 20,000 guests.

Additionally, Centara Hotel & Convention Centre Udon Thani at 2,900m2 holds up to 5,000 guests. The Tung Sri Muang Grand Ballroom has a capacity for 600 guests, and for smaller events, the room divides into two equal sections as Grand Ballroom 1 and 2, each with a capacity of 300 persons.

There are five additional meeting rooms, each with a capacity of up to 80 guests per room. For a slightly larger event, the Ban Phue Banquet Room will hold 100 guests while the Na Yung has capacity for 200 guests.

Located on the east coast of Thailand is Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall (PEACH), part of Royal Cliff Hotels Group. PEACH can cater up to 10,000 people whilst the Royal Cliff has over 1,000 guest rooms and suites. The two venues are located within five minutes of each other. Additional facilities also include a helicopter landing pad, multiple outdoor areas for themed functions including tropical gardens, exclusive beaches, and a fully equipped business centre.

“From events hosted on Thailand’s famous beaches, to roof-top bars for 500 people overlooking Bangkok’s lights, there is much to learn and re-learn about Thai MICE offerings,” concluded Tingey.

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