Mr Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), disclosed that there is a fresh vision to develop Phuket as the “world-class meetings destination for MICE that offers new experiences through marine beauty and cultural diversity”. To achieve this, the integration of collaboration will be fulfilled by public and private sectors and the communities to promote the holding of MICE events in Phuket. This will in turn stimulate the economy at the community level and distribute MICE income among communities. Care will be taken to ensure sustainable event operations to assure long-term competitiveness.
“Our thorough studies of data and strategies of Phuket MICE City indicated that Phuket has enjoyed substantial development and has the potential to soar as a leading MICE city like other international destinations. Our vision to promote Phuket as the Andaman’s rising MICE city and as Asia’s key coastal MICE city has never been this clear,” said Mr Chiruit.
Phuket has a wide variety of attributes that enable it to serve as an international MICE city and as a globally renowned world-class MICE destination. Connecting with international cities is easy via the Phuket International Airport, which has planned to expand its capacity of serving 12.5 to 18 million travellers each year. There are numerous direct flights to many destinations worldwide, spanning Eastern Asia, the Middle East and Europe, including Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Korea, Russia, the USA, the UAE and Sweden. Additionally, a variety of pre and post event activities ranging from sports, cultural performances, relaxing spa to adventurous excursion can be arranged. Visits to communities with diverse cultures, such as the Peranakans and the enchanting Muslim communities in Phuket, would be another interesting programme.
TCEB has initiated the project to study and develop plausible MICE routes in Phuket to serve domestic MICE. As one among five MICE cities with comprehensive MICE factors, Phuket features the Phuket old town route, which was showcased in the World Harmony Puppet in 2018, as well as historical and cultural routes, team building, CSR activities and eco-friendly meetings at Pa Khlok Community and the Peranakan Museum.
Phuket features the readiness in terms of facilities and qualified personnel. These include 220 convention venues with 615 meeting rooms or more. Also, there are more than 600 hotels with over 40,000 rooms to serve delegates. 14 piers serving passenger boats and cruise ships are ideally equipped, side by side with 4 private marinas. Moreover, the construction of light rail transit is in progress, expecting to serve travelling from the Airport to Phuket city.
The implementation of MICE City development strategy is comprehensive, ranging from the Upstream, which is a solid foundation for the development of MICE in terms of facility spaces, personnel and the readiness of venues; the Midstream, which involves the addition of uniqueness into products and services and creation of recreational programme and excursion after meeting; to the Downstream, which involves marketing plan formulation and market channel development to promote Phuket among MICE organisers and attract MICE events into the province.
Based on the statistics of MICE travellers visiting Phuket in 2018, the growth was considerable as compared to 2017. In 2018, the total number of MICE travellers registered 2,216,230 in Phuket, which increased by 167.94% from 2017, generating the total revenue of 19,544.16 million baht or equal to 87.75% growth. The two-digit growth has been obvious in all market segments, including MICE. This lucrative trend reflects the direction of MICE market, and the potential of Phuket as a thriving MICE destination that serves luxury meetings in the southern Thailand.
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