Thailand gets MICE competition from Vietnam

Resilient Thailand should watch out for rising competitors
The search for newer destinations may be a bigger threat to Thailand than safety following the recent bomb blasts, TTG Asia reports from IT&CMA and CTW Asia Pacific 2016, Bangkok.
Incentive and meeting planners say Thailand remains resilient, but emerging destinations like Vietnam and Cambodia look set to be its competitors for a slice of MICE.
The kingdom’s resilience is attributed to its attractions and value-for-money proposition, aside from its image as being relatively safe.
“There are security threats in many areas of the world and in comparison Thailand is still considered rather safe and is still a very attractive place for our groups,” said Yoo Jae Eun of Hyundai Dream Tour, South Korea.
She is optimistic Thailand will still be one of the top destinations for her clients who prioritise shopping in their incentive program.
“It is not easy to find luxury hotels and restaurants at the low prices Thailand offers,” added Andrzej Rutkowski, sales manager at Supertour, Poland.
But Thailand should look out for competition from emerging countries, said Akbar Shareef, chairman and CEO of Rakaposhi Tours, Pakistan. He explained that many of his clients have visited Thailand several times and so consider Vietnam especially as a “fresh new destination”.
Unilever Industries’ APAC regional travel head, Geetha Arekal, agreed: “Vietnam is the next big destination for MICE because the facilities for IT and accommodation are growing better and stronger and they show that they are ready for business.”
Rutkowski is also seeing growing interest in the emerging part of south-east Asia where there are “a lot of new and unique historic venues that we can hold meetings and incentives”, citing the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia as an example.
TTG Asia