Why Bangkok?

By Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau

Many countries have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. How is Bangkok currently dealing with this crisis?

The Thai government has actively tackled the pandemic with the launch of several measures under its Covid-19 crisis management committee. Also, TCEB has co-developed with its private sector stakeholder associations “MICE Hygiene Guideline”. The guideline won the trust of the Ministry of Public Health and has since been introduced to MICE operators nationwide.
This has resulted in business confidence and the re-start of MICE business with no limit on size and maximum attendance.  With this achievement, MICE operators and visitors are now assured that events in Bangkok can be staged with no health risks.
In addition, the pandemic also prompted Thai MICE industry to switch to online platform or hybrid event. In this regard, TCEB launched Virtual Meeting Space (VMS) project in April to provide webinars for meetings and virtual expo for exhibitions. The project has attracted over 50 meetings and exhibitions in Bangkok to run their events.

The MICE industry is also struggling during these difficult times. How do you think this will change our industry, and what measures can be taken, in your opinion?

Health and safety are definitely top concern of people around the world so everyone needs to adjust to new situation. All stakeholders, in and outside MICE industry, must collaborate in demonstrating their ability to make such deliverables, be they pre-event, onsite and post-event.
TCEB has raised the role of health authorities or professionals as a key stakeholder of the MICE industry. In this connection, technology, tools and equipment that meet health, safety and hygiene purposes have become a key factor in organizing an event.
Meanwhile, TCEB has emphasized domestic MICE promotion as a key stimulating measure aimed to support business operators during this difficulty. And it has become a success with about 500 companies planning domestic meetings just in a week after the launch of the plan.
Since we see that business operation may never be the same any longer, it is important for us to pave the way for a new future. We have invested in human development, introduction of new MICE related technologies, and marketing intelligence.

As soon as Bangkok is able to welcome international association congresses in the future, can you tell us three (surprising) facts that are relevant for association meetings?

•    TCEB has developed “Convene Plus” support scheme for association meetings hosted in Thailand. Responding to the new trend, the support will be applicable to both face-to-face meetings and hybrid/online ones. The meetings that can exhibit economic, social and environmental impacts in accordance with our index are subject to additional support. This is how we are going to enhance the legacy profile of association meetings.

•    We aim to grow national association meetings into international profile, thus, opening the opportunities for cooperation with international associations.  

•    Venues in Bangkok are now mostly equipped with health protocols that are in line with the directives of the Ministry of Public Health.  Health readiness is not limited to meeting venues, but is also widely practiced in other public properties, such as hotels, shopping centers, cinemas, public transport.  The cooperation of all sides in disease prevention, plus the government’s stringent health measures, has finally earned Thailand one of the world’s top tiers in containing the pandemic. This achievement has put Thailand into a map of safe destinations.

Where to meet?

•    Sam Yan MitrTown Hall, right in the city center on Rama IV Rd, opposite Chulalongkorn University, and accessible by MRT underground train. It offers 2,000 sqm hall with 5 breakout rooms with average sizes between 40 and 50 sqm. .

•    True ICON Hall, located inside ICON SIAM on the bank of the Chao Phraya River on Charoen Nakhon Rd in Klong San district, offers an auditorium with 2,700 retractable seats, which can be separated into 2 halls with sound-proof partition. There are 14 breakout rooms with capacity of 20-200 delegates in each room.

•    Capella Bangkok Hotel, an ultraluxury hotel on the bank of the Chao Phraya River on Charoenkrung Rd in Yannawa district, opened on Oct 2, 2020. The hotel offers 747 sqm ballroom with 5 breakout rooms of various sizes, ranging from 45 sqm to 150 sqm.

Where to stay?

•    Besides 5-star Capella Bangkok Hotel mentioned above, we have some new properties as follows:

-   Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (5 stars) – Located on Charoenkrung Rd in Sathon District, 35 km from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, take expressway to hotel around 40 minutes.

-   Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok (5 stars) – Located in Central Business District (CBD) of Bangkok in Soi Ton Son, Lang Suan Rd, Pathumwan District, 30 km from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, take expressway to hotel around 30 minutes.

-   Sindhorn Kempinski Hotel Bangkok (5 stars) – Located in CBD of Bangkok on Lang Suan District, Pathumwan District, 30 km from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, take expressway to hotel around 30 minutes.

-  Sindhorn Midtown Hotel Bangkok (4 stars) – Located in CBD of Bangkok in on Lang Suan Rd, Pathumwan District, 30 km from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, take expressway to hotel around 30 minutes.

-  Carlton Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit (5 stars) – Located in commercial district on Sukhumwit Rd, Watthana District where BTS Skytrain is operated, 25 km from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, take expressway to hotel around 25 minutes.

-   Novotel Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit 34 (Opening November 2020) (4 stars) – Located in commercial district in Soi Sukhumwit 34, Sukhumwit Rd, Klong Toey District where BTS Skytrain is operated, 25 km from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, take expressway to hotel around 25 minutes.

Do you offer any special services/assistance for associations?

•    TCEB has developed “Convene Plus” support scheme as aforementioned. Besides, if your association meeting is a new event, it is also eligible to marketing and promotional support.

•    MICE Lane Service is our unique service for your event’s VIPs, when they arrive at Bangkok airport. The service helps shorten immigration procedures, saving time and speeding the arrival at accommodation or venue.

Personal recommendation/insider tips?

•    TCEB has developed 7 Magnificent MICE Themes for MICE products and services to provide a choice that matches the requirements and preferences of the delegates. They are fascinating history and culture, lavish luxury, exhilarating adventure, treasured team building, beach bliss, culinary journeys, CSR and green meetings.

Here are some in Bangkok:
-   Chao Phraya River Cruise – The river bisecting the city is one of the major landmarks of Bangkok. The bank is dotted with historical landmarks and sites, with some being turned into special venues, old communities, world-class MICE hotels, modern and ultra-luxury shopping and entertainment complex. Co-existing old charm and new stylish development along the river, telling a journey of the city through times, are a unique character. Find the cruise of your choice at https://www.viator.com/Bangkok-tours/Cruises-Sailing-and-Water-Tours/d343-g3

-   Bangkok Food Tours – Thailand is renowned globally for its cuisine. Thai menus, Massaman curry, Tom Yam Gung and Papaya Salad (Som Tam) are recently rated by CNN as world’s top food. Bangkok Food Tour is a choice to experience a rich array and taste of Thai cuisine at its heart at a variety of locations from local eateries, multi-generational eatery business, floating market, China Town, riverside eateries.  
Contact: https://www.bangkokfoodtours.com/ /  Email: info@bangkokfoodtours.com

-   Mahanakhon Skywalk – Test your adrenaline on the country’s tallest observation deck at 314 meter by walking on one of the world’s biggest glass trays offering 360 degree panoramic view of the city and the city’s landscape underneath or enjoy networking at the bar and drink on the deck with a view of setting sun over the city in the evening. It is located on Narathiwas Rd in Silom district which is a CBD of Bangkok, and is accessible by BTS Skytrain. Get off at Chong Non Si station. https://kingpowermahanakhon.co.th/skywalk/ / Email: contact.kpmn@kingpower.com

Whom to contact?

For more information on Convene Plus support scheme, please email: c@tceb.or.th