New Delhi : Thailand is wooing the Indian business tourist, with incentive packages for what is known as MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) tourism.
Addressing the media in the capital Thursday evening as part of the Delhi leg of its three-day road show Aug 18-21, Supawan Teerarat, exhibitions director and acting president of the Thailand Convention & Exhibitions Bureau (TCEB), said Thailand wanted India to play an important role in the growing MICE tourism segment.
TCEB is using the growing trade and tourism links between the two countries to convince Indian industries and associations to hold conventions, trade shows and large company meetings on Thai soil.
“Thailand is expecting 6.6 percent growth this year and India is a robust economy. It’s one of the top 10 global economies and ranks fourth in the world in terms of purchasing power parity. It is close to Thailand,” Teerarat told the media.
She said “Extra Night, Extra Smile” was an incentive scheme aimed at increasing the number of Indian exhibition visitors at short notice and encourages them to stay longer in Thailand.
“For groups of delegates who stay three nights or longer, a fourth night would be offered free,” Teerarat said.
In addition, the “Extra Smile” component would deliver special group fast tracking and airport transfers, a complimentary Bangkok city tour by tram, plus special discounts at leading department stores and entertainment outlets for Indian delegates, she said.
The Thailand Convention & Exhibitions Bureau will target individual and group business travellers and trade shows from Indian associations working in electronics, industrial machinery, petroleum, automotives, steel, gems and jewellery sectors.
“Bilateral trade links between Thailand and India are already advanced in these industries”” she said.
Citing statistics, Teerarat said,”Bilateral trade links between India and Thailand grew nearly 26 percent in 2008 and was worth approximately US $ 5.9 billion. A trade agreement between India and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is scheduled to be implemented by Jan 1, 2011″.
The MICE segment in India has seen a boom over the last three years and currently generates nearly 10 percent revenue for tour operators.
“Traditionally, Thailand did well by attracting business events from ASEAN economies. But the recession in ASEAN has hurt demand for exhibitions. We need to open our doors more to India, China and the Middle East,” said Pravit Sribanditmongkol, secretary general of the Thailand Exhibition Association.