Thailand’s Chiang Mai to become an ASEAN MICE Hub

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Nov. 14 – The Thai province of Chiang Mai is working with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau in order to make the area a MICE city for Thailand and an industrial hub for the wider ASEAN region. The term MICE refers to meetings, incentive travels, conventions and exhibitions.

Chiang Mai’s plan is made up of three phases. During the first phase, begun in 2013, the main focus has been on attracting domestic MICE and creating a MICE industry. The second phase will take place over 2014-2015 during which the Greater Mekong Sub-region Economic Cooperation (GMS) and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will be used to promote Chiang Mai throughout the ASEAN region. In the final phase, taking place from 2016-2017, the province will undergo a series of upgrades in order to make it the premier destination for international conferences.

In addition, training programs have begun to be instituted in order to ensure a strong supply of skilled labor for the MICE industry.

The Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Center opened in May 2013 and is the centerpiece of the province’s MICE industry. The exhibition center is situated within the Mueang district covering an area of 521,600 square meters and has seating capacity for 10,000 visitors.

Chiang Mai has already begun hosting a number of major conferences, such as the Thailand-Malaysia World Halal Expo 2013.

With the expected large increase in visitors to the region, the Chiang Mai government has begun planning for the construction of a second airport to handle the increased air traffic. The city is also building a high-speed rail track to ensure fast and efficient transportation throughout the region.

According to the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), revenue from MICE is expected to increase by 10 percent to THB4.24 billion this year and the number of MICE travellers will grow by 5 percent.

Chiang Mai is already recognized as an aviation and education hub for the region, a prime destination for medical tourism and is consistently rated as one of the top 10 travel destinations.

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