Ten ASEAN states working togetherThere are ten countries that are members of ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations and they are all now co-operating more closely to gain a bigger share of the world's business tourism market.
Supawan Teerarat, V-P Strategic and Business Development at the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, told ITCM in Bangkok how each country is at the same time promoting itself but making the world aware of the importance of the ASEAN region, especially on the MICE scene.
'The world has to be aware that together we represent a population of 600m people. And some of the countries are amongst the fastest growing economies. We are seeing massive investment in tourism facilities and also a rapidly growing demand amongst our own people for foreign travel experience.'
Khun Supawan was at the IT&CMA Exhibition in Bangkok to announce the launch of Thailand Connect. 'This is', she personally explained to me, 'a global branding campaign to raise awareness of the opportunities presented by ASEAN and the winning combination of qualities offered by Thailand.'
Supawan identifies the benefits of Thailand as its diversity of destinations within the one country, the wide range of new and incomparable business opportunities and the high quality of Thailand's MICE professionals.
Thailand impressed the IT&CMA audience with the statistics it was able to quote: 940,000 MICE visitors to Thailand during 2013, generating 2.57bn US dollars; with an expected revenue growth for 2014 of 10%.
Because of Thailand's well-developed infrastructure, modern connectivity facilities, its location at the heart of ASEAN and, of course, its unique legendary hospitality, Supawan is highly confident that Thailand is set to make a leap forward as a MICE destination.
Member states of ASEAN
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam