Thailand’s government will provide relief funding for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) sector after it declined by half due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The cabinet approved the extra budget last week. The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), together with the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) and listed companies, will provide 200 million baht in cash incentives to promote the MICE sector.
Typically a 40-person group will have a total expenditure of 140,000 baht per trip. Corporations with incentives or meetings in a province other than their own, with at least 40 people, will receive an additional 20,000 baht per group.
TCEB’s president says the stimulus package should draw demand from corporate customers, and the fiscal package already allows firms to deduct their expenses twice for organising meetings outside their province.
At least 100 corporate groups have joined the scheme. The TCC and SET-listed companies have pledged to boost the domestic market by encouraging the private sector to arrange more meetings in provinces.
The chairman of the TCC and 10 chief executives of top Thai companies will participate in a pilot incentive trip to Pattaya to kickstart the Meeting in Thailand stimulus project on Feb 26.
The TCEB has prepared various other campaigns aimed at potential short-haul international MICE markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore for when the coronavirus threat subsides.
Sumate Sudasna, president of the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association, said the international meetings and incentives market is down by half since the start of the year.
“Groups that are travelling in Thailand are here because it was too late to cancel the trip. After the crisis, this segment will take 4 to 6 months for full recovery because MICE requires more time for planning,”
The impact of the coronavirus impact has been felt across the global MICE business. The sector is especially sensitive to safety issues, rendering price strategies to retrieve confidence ineffective in most markets.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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