Thailand is giving meetings and incentive planners plenty of new reasons to bring events to the country, after the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) announced the launch this week of 115 new activities and venues across 14 cities for 2020.
Spanning seven themes -- history and culture, CSR and green meetings, beach bliss. exhilarating adventures, treasured team building, lavish luxury, and culinary journeys -- the new initiative was announced at IBTM World in Barcelona on Nov. 19. TCEB president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya said the fact that "Thailand has over 100 new products to offer clearly demonstrates how [we] are determined to meet planners' needs for creative and cultural immersive products."
He added that over the past year, TCEB has collaborated with key cities for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, and other major destinations across Thailand to develop their local offerings and new activities based on the local culture and designed for the business events sector.
"The collaboration also reflects the ethos of our new campaign -- Thailand Redefine Your Business Events -- to deliver redefined experiences for clients and showcase Thailand as a diverse destination," said Chiruit.
The 115 new activities and venues are available in the following locations:
• Five MICE Cities - Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen; and
• Nine other cities - Chiang Rai (near Chiang Mai), Udon Thani (near Khon Kaen), Samut Songkram, Samut Sakhon and Chacheongsao (near Bangkok), Chonburi and Rayong (near Pattaya), Song Khla and Nakhon Sri Thammarat (southern Thailand).
New activities include enjoying ethnic hill tribe cuisine in Chiang Mai, producing salt licks for wildlife near Pattaya, dinner on the floating table in the lagoon in Phuket, exploring the historical streets in Bangkok on a Thai Bus Food Tour and discovering a new venue -- a former rice‐milling barn in Khon Kaen.
Second‐tier cities, located near primary destinations, also offer new experiences for delegates. These include a café run by inmates from an occupational training program in Chiang Rai (near Chiang Mai), turning sea salt into spa products with salt pit operators in Samut Songkram (near Bangkok), supporting a crab bank housing young crab before their release into the sea in Chonburi (near Pattaya), producing paper and thread from pineapple fibre in Song Khla in southern Thailand, and team-building activities in a former U.S. military camp in Udon Thani (near Khon Kaen).
Alongside this are a range of new event spaces that can host team‐building and themed adventure activities: Volume Climbing Gym in Khon Kaen, Zero Latency (virtual reality team building) in Bangkok, Water Sport Ground in Pattaya, Thai Wake Park in Chon Buri and the Windsurf Club in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.
Stanley Ho is senior editor of M&C Asia.