Efforts underway to make Chiang Rai a promising MICE destination
BEING the closest Thai province to China and a part of the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and China meet, Chiang Rai’s unique location could work in its advantage as a potential MICE destination.
In an effort to promote the province, The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) president, Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, showcased Chiang Rai at the IBTM CHINA 2016 in Beijing.
Prior to this, meetings in the region would most often be hosted in the Yunnan province of China, but the opening of a new conference facility in Chiang Rai could change that.
The new center can cater to events of up to 3,000 delegates and recently hosted the Lanna Hilltribe and handicraft exhibition.
However, Maythaveekulchai pointed out that Chiang Rai is still a distance from Chiang Mai in offering professional MICE facilities.
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Lerdchai Wangtrakoondee, the Tourism Authority of Chiang Rai’s director, said that the new center will be primarily used by government departments for seminars and meetings, most of which will be arranged by Bangkok ministries or provincial offices in north Thailand.
Riverside hotels in Chiang Rai also provide a unique MICE experience; Dusit Island Resort can fit up to 500 delegates, and is a short distance from popular tourist sites.
One of the obstacles the province faces is accessibility as there are limited international flights into the region. At the moment, Chinese airlines fly into Chiang Mai, and passengers are required to make a 180-kilometer overland transfer through the mountains.
Thailand welcomed over 500,000 MICE delegates from October 2015 to March this year alone.