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Thailand Attracts French MICE Business
'MEGA MICE' to leverage benefits through AEC

PARIS, Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has organised its first roadshow to Paris on 22 November 2012. Leading a delegation representing both public and private sectors, TCEB will showcase Thailand as an ideal and cost-effective platform for French MICE professionals to extend their reach and penetrate the lucrative ASEAN market.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121213/HK29187 )

TCEB's Thailand Paris Road Show 2012 aims to increase French participation in Thailand's MICE market through the TCEB "MEGA MICE" tactic approach, which aims to help French MICE professionals use Thailand as a platform to accomplish their strategic business goals in ASEAN.

Commenting on the roadshow, Mr. Thongchai Sridama, Acting President of TCEB explained, "Europe is a major long-haul market for Thailand's tourism and MICE industry. In 2011, over 3.6 million European tourists visited Thailand, with Russia, UK, Germany and France ranking the highest. In all, the EU accounts for almost 12 per cent of Thailand's total MICE market, with almost 87,000 visitors last year. In 2013, we expect the numbers to increase by more than 5 percent to over 91,000 visitors, generating 164.9 million Euros in revenues in 2013. The French MICE market will be key to reaching this goal."

During an official visit to the Republic of France in July by the Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the PM confirmed the excellent progress in bilateral relations between the two countries, in accordance with the Second Thailand-France Joint Plan of Action (2010-2014). The Plan focused on energy, sustainable development, trade and investment promotion, extending business networks and trilateral cooperation.

According to Thai Ministry of Foreign Affair, Thailand and France enjoy an excellent bilateral relationship at all levels; Thailand is France's oldest partner in Southeast Asia and in 2004 was recently elevated to the status of strategic partners, following the signing of the first Joint Plan of Action; a 2nd Thailand-France Joint Plan of Action was subsequently agreed for 2010-2014. Today, Thailand is France's 2nd largest ASEAN trade partner and France is Thailand's 4th largest trade partner in the European Union, with 2011 bilateral trade volume recorded at $4.1 billion (Euros 3.2 billion). France has recently made several major investments in Thailand, particularly in the fields of tourism, energy and industry.

Acting President of TCEB, Mr. Thongchai Sridama commented, "In line with our government's policy, Thailand is prioritizing the MICE and business events industry as a key business platform. We expect to expand our partnership with French MICE operators. Despite the financial crisis in Europe, the number of French business travellers to Thailand remains strong and we expect around 13.5 million Euros in revenues in 2012. The Thai government therefore plans to extend support for all categories and scales of business event to attract more French MICE events to Thailand; we expect that the attractive incentives we are offering will boost growth next year by a further 5 per cent."

Thailand's MICE industry will be promoted in the French market via the 'MEGA MICE' initiative. French business travellers and entrepreneurs will be able to maximize benefits from their MICE events in Thailand via three strategic pillars: MEGA Achievement; MEGA Sustainability; and MEGA Collaboration:

1) MEGA Achievement -- Thailand has demonstrated its potential and versatility in hosting all categories and scales of business events. Many mega-scale MICE events return time and again to Thailand, and global industry events are lining up to host their 2013 events yet again in Thailand.

2) MEGA Sustainability -- Thailand is currently upgrading its MICE industry to comply with the global MICE Sustainability standard (ISO20121) and will be the second country in the world to implement the standard. By holding their events in Thailand, French businesses will benefit not only from the high cost-effectiveness, but also contribute to meeting their CSR commitments towards a sustainable world.

3) MEGA Collaboration -- Beyond its diversity of venue destinations, Thailand offers French businesses a platform to extend their reach to penetrate the lucrative ASEAN market. Thailand's MICE operators can offer support not only to promote MICE destinations in Thailand, but can also assist in strengthening collaboration between business operators and government agencies across the ASEAN region. Thailand is set to become a strategic platform for the economic integration within the forthcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

TCEB has also launched a 'Mega Events…Sustainable Challenge' campaign targeting the meetings industry. Financial support of up to 25,000 Euros is available for eligible mega-events with a minimum of 1,000 overseas delegates held in Thailand. Applicants from France must meet at least one of the following criteria: a) the event must be managed by a Thai event organizer; b) the event must be held at a certified 'Green Venue'; or c) the event must incorporate a CSR activity as part of the programme; or d) the event must involve at least three consecutive nights in Thailand.

Thailand's exhibitions industry is also gearing up for economic integration through the TCEB strategy entitled "Thailand as the Exhibition Platform for AEC", designed to be promoted globally. Thailand will prioritize nine major industry sectors that have set Thailand as their flagship exhibition centres. The prioritized sectors are automotive and machinery; construction, design and home furnishing; agriculture and food; communications technology; travel and tourism; medicine and pharmaceuticals; accessories and fashion; and energy. Together, these industry sectors are worth around 8 trillion Baht to the Thai economy, and are in high demand across the ASEAN region, where development in communications and transport infrastructure, energy, education, culture, travel and tourism and society is proceeding at a very rapid pace.

In terms of Mega Achievement, Thailand itself has attracted many world-class mega-events; for example the global convention of Lions International, with more than 25,000 delegates, the International World of Islam, with more than 10,000 participants, ITU Telecom Asia, with 15,000 delegates, Rotary International, with more than 38,000 delegates and the Amway (China) International Convention with more than 16,000 delegates.

In conclusion, Mr. Thongchai added, "In 2013, TCEB will host a series of mega events, including the ITU Telecom World 2013 Exhibition with approximately 20,000 delegates, Herbalife Extravaganza with 18,000 attendees, ProHealth China Convention, with an expected attendance of approximately 10,000 participants, and the World Stamp Thailand 2013 Exhibition, also with an expected 10,000 visitors. Most importantly, Thailand is in the process of bidding to host the Expo 2020 Ayutthaya Thailand, and the final decision will be announced next year. The event is expected to attract about 30 million visitors. All these events attest to Thailand's ability to deliver world-class event outcomes; French MICE professionals can therefore be confident of high returns from MICE events held in Thailand."

According to "The Trade Fair Industry of Asia 8th Edition, 2012" reported by the Union des Foires International (UFI), in 2011 revenues from trade fairs in Thailand reached $151 million (Euros 118.5 million) from 77 trade fairs - the highest in ASEAN. The report anticipates buoyant growth in the industry, thanks in part to its 9 dedicated world-class exhibition venue facilities, and its fast-growing, export-led economy. In addition, according to the "Country and City Rankings Report 2011" by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Thailand remains a high potential market for the meetings industry, ranked 9th in Asia Pacific & the Middle East. 

In 2013, Thailand is expected to welcome approximately 792,000 MICE visitors to the country, generating expected revenues of Euros 1.6 billion, comprising Euros 1.38 billion from the meetings industry, and Euros 220 million from the trade show and exhibitions sector.

For more information, please contact:

Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau

Ms. Parichat Svetasreni      

Tel: +662-694-6092 

parichat_s@tceb.or.th

Mr. Sumet Kanchanapan 

Tel: +662-694-6096 

sumet_k@tceb.or.th

SOURCE Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau

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