The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is advancing its related party collaborations to make Thailand a hub for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS ).
TCEB, along with the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), the Mekong Institute for Economic Development Cooperation, the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Transport Association (GMS-FRETA) Thailand and the Naresuan University, have come together again to shape the agenda ahead. They came together in force at the GMS Logistic, Tourism, MICE & Trade Forum 2021 symposium held on December 27-28, 2021 at the Pullman Hotel King Power in Bangkok for the mission.
Held for the fourth consecutive year, this year’s symposium focused on promoting cooperation on the R3A road link between Thailand, Laos PDR and China to boost multilateral trade and investment. Business matchmaking sessions were also held, focusing on welcoming MICE travelers emerging after the inauguration of the China-Lao PDR rapid train service on Dec. 2, 2021, said Supawan Teerarat, Vice President. Principal – MICE Capability and Innovation, at TCEB.
The R3A Link (aka North-South Economic Corridor under the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Cooperation Framework) aims to connect Kunming in China’s Yunnan Province and Bangkok across China, Laos PDR and Thailand by road. land, to support the strategic development of the logistics system of the Mekong sub-region. The connection constitutes macro-economic integration in economic, touristic and cultural exchanges, including MICE activities. It provides an excellent opportunity for Thailand to attract travelers from southern China by train, car and ship to northern and northeast Thailand.
“It is a pathway of opportunity and a future route to serve travelers and MICE traffic from local and international markets under the 1-Marketing 3-Destination concept,” Ms. Supawan said. She added that the TCEB’s promotion of MICE activities along the R3A route in 2022 will focus on working with partners to prepare a tourism and MICE cooperation framework along the R3A route to be used as an action plan. This framework will drive further expansion and create added value for trade and investment for industries and services in the region through sponsored exhibitions of outstanding industry and services in the region.
TCEB’s sponsorship includes supporting travel by MICE business people from three countries on the R3A route, promoting awareness of new products and services on the R3A route through familiarization trips to present and develop ideas creative.
This will be carried out based on the elements of “Thailand Magnificent 7-MICE Theme” to promote community development and tourist attractions along the road connecting the three countries. It will also include promoting business matchmaking opportunities and connecting MICE entrepreneurs from the three countries even more closely with the activities of the MICE Business Road Show R3A. In addition, TCEB will encourage the private sector and other groups to come together and bid for the rights to host international meetings and conferences in the region as well.
ATTA President Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn noted that it remains to be seen when a major market like China will reopen in 2022. Covid’ policy to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus. However, it is believed that the overall situation for Thailand’s tourism industry in 2022 will be better than in 2021, thanks to the easing of travel restrictions in the kingdom. He said it is high time for entrepreneurs to prepare to welcome travelers on the R3A route because once China opens up, they must be ready for a surge of Chinese travelers. “Of course, there will be a large number of tourists using this route to come to Thailand,” he added.
It is an important route for exports, especially agricultural products and the tourism sector for the three countries. It is a connection point to the northeast region of Thailand, from Vientiane to Nong Khai province, via the train between the two cities. The road is vital for imports and exports between Thailand and China. Major shipments include vegetables, fresh fruits, chilled frozen fruits, processed fruits, spices, herbs and consumer products.
Another role of the R3A is that it acts as a cultural and tourism connection channel, providing Thailand with the opportunity to receive tourists from southern China.
In addition, the route serves as a pathway for investment in various businesses, especially around the Golden Triangle, and provides additional opportunities to expand tourist flows from Nong Khai Province to Bangkok and Pattaya and beyond to the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development area. It will increase the opportunities for trade, investment and activities, such as attending business meetings and conferences, which means a huge amount of money from traveler spending.