The eminent Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is astir with preparations to enhance its coveted MICE Lane services at five leading airports. This initiative stems from a concerted effort to cater to MICE travellers from China and Kazakhstan, dovetailing seamlessly with the Thai Government’s visa exemption policy targeted at tourists from these countries, envisaged as a short-term adrenaline shot to enliven the economy.
The respected President of TCEB, Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, revealed that in line with government resolutions, tourists from far-flung realms of China and Kazakhstan would be given a visa exemption, thus enabling them to revel in the charm of Thailand for up to 30 days. This exciting prospect is slated to commence on September 25, 2023, culminating on February 29, 2024, a five-month period brimming with promise and potential.
Launching this much-anticipated moment, the TCEB, working in unison with distinguished associates from Phuket Province, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and the Phuket Tourist Association, put together an enthusiastic welcome for the visa-exempt explorers from China and Kazakhstan. This inaugural event happened at the bustling Phuket International Airport on September 25, 2023. Mr. Puripan Bunnag, Senior Vice President of TCEB, led a beaming MICE Lane team to welcome the forerunners at the jet bridge. Visitors were treated to a welcome board and delightful souvenirs, evoking a sense of warmth and acceptance that is unique to Thailand.
The first flight to grace the event was KC 563 by Air Astana, which arrived from Almaty to Phuket at 09:25 a.m. with 223 eager passengers. Meanwhile, the initial flight from China, gracefully operated by Air China, flight number CA 821, touched down at 05:45 p.m. with 237 expectant passengers all the way from Beijing to Phuket. Subsequently, two more flights originating from China, carrying a cumulative 338 explorers from Hangzhou and Shanghai, were scheduled to follow.
Currently, TCEB operates the esteemed MICE Lane, a dazzling service that facilitates immigration clearance through aspecialised channel, at the two major airports: Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang International Airport. MICE Lane reception decks at these pivotal touchpoints are continuously manned by well-informed officers to provide assistance at all times. Keeping pace with the government’s inspired policy, TCEB has plans to magnify the MICE Lane service, ensuring presence in five major airports by fiscal year 2024 (October 2023 – September 2024). This expansion will surely augment Thailand’s allure as the go-to destination for international conferences and exhibitions.
MICE Lane services are adeptly classified into three divisions: The illustrious VVIP, catering to eminent dignitaries, CEOs, and global summit leaders; the VIP, customized for event administrators or management personnel from delegate companies, and; the Delegate. Prospects of extending the visa exemption policy are expected to catalyse a rush of MICE travellers, especially from China, which notably ranks third in the list of countries contributing to Thailand’s international MICE travellers. It is projected that approximately 35,000 MICE explorers from China will grace Thailand during this period, with at least 3,500 benefiting from the MICE Lane service. This uptick in MICE activity only suggests significant financial stimulation for the MICE sector and consequent positive ripple effects throughout the economy, continuing well into the first quarter of 2024.