Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is stepping up promotion efforts in second- and third-tier cities in China, a shift from its previous sole focus on only tier one cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The decision was encouraged by a growing interest in Thailand among Chinese business event planners from second- and third-tier cities, according to Nooch Homrossukhon, director of Meeting and Incentive Promotion Department at TCEB.
Citing examples, Nooch said Thailand attracts direct selling companies from Shenzhen and Qingdao, and IT and finance companies from Hangzhou.
She noted that businesses in third-tier cities, including Suzhou, Xi’an, Chengdu and Nanjing, are making tremendous advancements, resulting in plump budgets for incentives.
“Over the years, we have also developed a good relationship with Chinese clients and this helps to bring repeat business," Nooch said.
Infinitus (China) Company will return to Thailand for the 14th time this year and hold its incentive event in Bangkok and Pattaya in May. Around 8,000 delegates are expected, and at press time, it is the largest business event group from China.
TCEB’s campaign, Thailand Big Thanks, which runs up to end December 2017, is particularly popular with Chinese direct selling and multilevel marketing firms in China – organisers of massive incentive movements – as it provides a financial subsidy of up to two million baht (US$58,153) for group sizes of at least 2,000 delegates and a minimum stay of three nights.
Nooch said: “The subsidy enhances delegate experience in Thailand as organisers can use the money to upgrade menus (and) entertainment. It also makes Thailand more attractive for organisers.”
China has overtaken India to remain in the top spot since 2013, and in 2016 the tourism source market contributed 10.25 billion baht (US$298 million) in revenue from 1,273,465 Chinese business event delegates.