By Andrew Starke in Bangkok
Over 2000 delegates representing MICE and business travel suppliers, trade buyers and corporate travel managers will attend an official ‘Feast of Thailand’ opening ceremony tonight (Oct 6).
The convention, which features 27 speakers from 10 countries, workshops and networking opportunities, runs until Thursday with some delegates staying on to participate in post-show incentive familiarisation trips to various parts of Thailand.
At the opening press conference, TTG Asia Media managing director, Darren Ng, said the Asian conference tourism market had shown resilience over the past year despite the global economic crisis.
His views were echoed by outgoing Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau director of meetings and incentives, Malinee Kitaphanich, who expects the decline of MICE tourists to Thailand to be reversed over 2010.
The host nation saw a decline of 15 percent in the number of MICE tourists in 2008 but expects to recover this year and be recording positive growth by the end of next year,
“Thank you for putting your trust in Thailand,” said Kitaphanich.
Early indications at the conference are that delegates are upbeat with 435 buyers in attendance, up from last year’s figure.
However Ng conceded that the event had not attracted as many delegates from Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island countries as it would have liked, a situation he says will be rectified ahead of next years conference, which will also be held in Bangkok.
More information on this year’s programme can be found by clicking here.