Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau will sell Phuket as a top MICE city to draw more event visitors this year.
The bureau estimated its latest campaign could supply around 35,000 visits by year end for the country’s events business.
TCEB president, Akapol Sorasuchart, said negative economic factors in the United States and Eurozone pushed the bureau to concentrate on Asia and Oceania markets to balance the shortfall.
“Last year, Thailand MICE industry started to suffer from the economic downturn in Europe and the United States, plus there were heavy floods that added to the industry’s woes.”
Eurozone markets are not producing travel bookings on the scale needed to maintain growth for Thailand’s travel industry. This was evident at the ITB this week where the business response was muted.
It is very likely that some of the Eurozone countries will pull out of the single currency market, later this year, due to the crisis.
In the US, fuel surcharges and related taxes are increasing and the up-coming presidential elections are dampening the mood to travel, along with a serious pinch in discretionary spending.
Mr Akapol added: “This year, our marketing activities will focus on conventions and incentive travel in short-haul markets such as South Asia, East Asia, and Oceania.”
In 2012, TCEB expects 35,000 MICE visitors from Oceania and generate Bt2,200 million compared to 33,000 visitors circulated Bt2,000 million in 2011.
To tap the Oceania market, the bureau will promote Phuket as a high-end Mice destination.
“We designed Phuket as a flagship destination and selected seven focus points. The Seven Wonders of the Andaman Mice City campaign showcases the strengths and diversity of the southern provinces,” TCEB president said.
The seven points are:
• Phuket International Conventional and Exhibition Centre at Mai Khao beach, in Thalang district, which will accommodate up to 4,000 participants scheduled to open in 2013;
• Three to five-star resort and villa accommodation and nearby provinces of Krabi and Phang Nga have over 1,000 venues and 74,000 hotel rooms available;
• Phuket International Airport can receive 6.7 million passengers a year and there are 44 domestic and international airlines serving 46,132 flights per year;
• Eight golf courses also serve demand where have been held golf world tournament as Johnnie Walker Classic / Honda Classic;
• Diversity of tourism and leisure activities;
• Destination for yachting and regattas;
• World-class seafood, local and halal cuisine.