Hua Xin to become Thailand's new hot spot
Updated: 2011-08-04 14:12
By Wang Sujuan (Chinadaily.com.cn)
Thailand is building Hua Hin into one of its five carefully selected luxurious destinations to tap into the country’s potential in meeting, incentives, convention and exhibition (MICE) industry.
Panorama of Hua Hin
A seaside resort roughly 200 km south of Bangkok, Hua Xin in Prachuab Kirikhan Province boasts sparkling beaches, an unspoiled natural landscape, quaint towns and a charming heritage. As one of the country’s favorite beachside destinations with first class infrastructure and accommodation, the city is equipped with more than 11,000 hotel rooms, venues for business events that can accommodate up to 5,000 guests, and an airport with a growing domestic network.
A number of innovative initiatives and activities have been designed to highlight Hua Xin as a world-class MICE destination in Thailand and an alternative to the well-established cities such as Bangkok.
In July 22, more than 150 delegates from around the world gathered in Hua Xin to participate in a “corporate social responsibility program” to raise awareness of the importance of education by helping to build a sustainable clay classroom for a local school and underprivileged students.
Hua Xin, along with other selected cities including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Samui, form the bulk of a new campaign launched by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). The bureau’s “Luxury MICE” program,which formally kicked off last month, is expected to garner a 15-20 percent growth towards the country’s overall MICE industry, or an equivalent of $129 million, in 2011.
According to Akapol Sorasuchart, President of the TCEB, Thailand has vowed to turn a new page in its service industry and cultivate more luxury destinations in 2011. “This shift was due to an adjustment in global trends. In 2011, the global meetings industry will see a gradual shift to high-end meetings. Thailand is in the position to offer luxurious destinations and services for a reasonable and competitive price,” He said.
Despite the global financial crisis and domestic political situation, Thailand has outshone competitors with its leadership position as a top trade fair destination for five consecutive years among member states of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Thanks to positive factors including increasing foreign confidence, there has been a noticeable upward trend in the Thai MICE industry recovery.
Spa in Hua Hin Asara Villa & Suite
In 2010, Thailand’s MICE industry enjoyed an overall growth of 15 percent year-to-year, with more than 679,585 MICE visitors from around the world. This year, TCEB expects about 720,000 MICE visitors to Thailand, generating $1.9 billion in revenues.
Thailand is among one of the most attractive destinations for Chinese MICE visitors. Recent years saw the year-to-year growth of Chinese visitors at 20 percent. Last year, 45,109 Chinese citizens visited Thailand for conferences and exhibitions. The influx of Chinese visitors has become one of the driving engines behind Sino-Thai trade. China is now Thailand’s second largest trade partner, following Japan.
With Yingluck Shinawatra’s Puea Thai party winning a landslide victory in last month’s election, Thailand is now better positioned to embrace national reconciliation and social stability. The good political climate will be a blessing to the country’s dynamic MICE industry.
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