Thailand is the Most Popular Asia Pacific MICE Destination

Bangkok from the air

The recently released 2016 Country and City Rankings by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) marked a new achievement for Thai MICE industry as Thailand jumped up to the 24th place among top countries ranking by number of association meetings organized in 2016. ICCA totalled 174 international association meetings hosted in Thailand in 2016.

In 2015, Thailand was ranked 27th in 2015. The new ranking also spotlights Thailand as top country in ASEAN for association conventions, marking its best performance since 2012 when it ranked 25th in the world, and beating Singapore, longtime regional champion which dropped to number 28. Within the Asia-Pacific/Middle East region, Thailand moved up one notch, from 6th to 5th while Singapore and Malaysia ranked respectively number six and number nine. Indonesia ranked number 10th with 94 meetings.

Similarly, Bangkok continued its rise among the world’s hottest destinations for meetings, going from number 16 in 2015 to number 12 this year. The number of meetings reached 121 in 2016, marking the city’s highest volume performance since 2012. Paris remained the most popular city for association meetings in 2016 ICCA Rankings, with totally 196 meetings hosted last year. Within the Asia-Pacific region, Bangkok’s ranking moved up one spot to 3rd place from 4th in 2015. It follows Singapore which hosted 151 meetings last year (1st rank) but is ahead of Kuala Lumpur with 68 meetings last year (9th rank).

Other Thai MICE cities also performed well in the rankings, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), stated.  Chiang Mai in northern Thailand hosted 20 international association meetings in 2016. It was also the city’s best result on record since 2012. It earned the city 6th place of the 21 ASEAN cities in the ICCA Statistical Report.

The island of Phuket in the South hosted 13 meetings in 2016, ranking 10th in ASEAN but 48th in Asia, even behind Yogyakarta in Indonesia. The lack of a convention centre for the island explains the poor performance. The island ranked only 203 worldwide with 13 meetings far behind Bali, which ranked 61 worldwide with 43 meetings in 2016.

A bad performance was also recorded by jakarta, which continues to struggle to attract international meetings. Indonesia capital recorded only 15 events last year and ranked 169 worldwide and 40 in Asia. Streets’ congestion with horrendous traffic jam- accentuated in the city centre by the construction of the MRT- might explain the city’s poor performance.

Interestingly, Hanoi welcomed last year more meeting than Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s capital registyered 19 meetings compared to 10 in Ho Chi Minh City. Both cities ranked respecitively in Asia ranks 32 and 58.

Rising momentum of Thailand as favorable world-class destination for international conventions as well as the country’s constantly improving ICCA ranking reflect the capability and potential of Thai MICE industry that continue to gain trust and confidence in global markets. These are also the successful results of collaboration efforts between relevant public and private organizations to improve the country’s competitiveness, which continues to make Thailand a leading MICE hub in ASEAN.