Political unrest in Thailand prompts business tourism campaign

Political unrest in Bangkok has prompted the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) to revise its MICE visitor target by up to 11% less than 2009 figures.

Bangkok's Central World shopping centre was burnt in protests
Bangkok's Central World shopping centre was burnt in protests

Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) president Akapol Sorasuchart said at the launch of TCEB's roadshow in London today that international MICE visitor numbers could fall by 11% below the 2009 figure of 628,653 as a result of the latest outbreak of violence.

"If we do nothing about it, it could fall by 11%, but we are taking action to ensure we maintain the 2009 number," said Sorasuchart. 

Thailand's 2010 MICE revenue is anticipated to fall by 30% as a result of the Red Shirt protests. However, at the event today, he unveiled a plan to inject £425,000 into a new Thailand Extra Value campaign to win back the C&I market.

Prior to the political unrest, the TCEB had targeted 780,000 MICE visits - 25% up on 2009. About 15% of all MICE visitors to Thailand are from the UK.

"The aim of the European roadshow was to create an awareness of the real situation in Thailand and restore confidence in our country within the UK's business and professional communities," he said. "As part of its effort to refresh the market and win back MICE business, TCEB is offering assistance to companies affected by the Red Shirt protests. It is also opening new and untapped market opportunities and bolstering efforts to restore Thailand's international image." 

TCEB will provide a budget for free life and property insurance for MICE visitors and support for market promotion.

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