Thailand and South Korea strengthen MICE links

THE THAILAND Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Seoul Tourism Organisation (STO) have inked an MOU to jointly develop their tourism and MICE businesses.

This is the first partnership between TCEB and a South Korean city.

TCEB director, meetings & incentives, Puripan Bunnag, told TTG Asia e-Daily that details of the partnership would be revealed at a later date. “For now, it is understood that TCEB and STO will share information on potential event bids, and support each other at trade shows and road shows,” he explained.

“For example, when STO participates in IT&CMA in Bangkok, TCEB will connect it with top outbound Thai agents who can sell Seoul. We expect the same support from STO with TCEB holds road shows and trade shows in Seoul.”

Akapol Sorasuchart, president of TCEB, said the partnership would enhance bilateral cooperation between the two destinations, which already share strong trade ties.

“South Korea is considered a high potential MICE market for Thailand’s MICE industry,” he said. “South Korean arrivals form 6.1 per cent of total Asian MICE travellers to Thailand. In 2010, the growth rate reached 21 per cent, with 25,429 South Korean MICE tourists visiting Thailand. This generated US$52 million in revenue.”

Hong Heegon, who stepped into his role as president and CEO of STO just over a month ago, said that Thailand was the third most popular destination for South Koreans, after China and Japan.

Meanwhile, Puripan added that an MOU between TCEB and Busan Convention & Visitors Bureau, initially planned for last November, might follow soon after.

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