By VIENTIANE TIMES
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
These figures were revealed at the “Thailand MICE Roadshow Laos” on Tuesday, which was jointly held by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and the Lao Association of Travel Agencies in Vientiane.
Puripan Bunnag, domestic MICE director of the TCEB, said the roadshow
aimed to consolidate networking of MICE entrepreneurs in Thailand and Laos as well as to boost the connectivity and leverage capability of the MICE industry in the CLMVT region (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand) for an integrated expansion towards the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) next year.
The meeting heard how Laos had recorded sustained economic growth and transformed itself from being a landlocked to a land-linked country in the region.
In addition, the country has launched special economic zones to propel annual growth at 7.5 per cent between 2016 and 2020, as outlined in the National Socio-Economic Development Plan No 8.
The TCEB said it was confident the roadshow would pave the way for Thailand to penetrate the untapped markets in Laos, which in turn would stimulate Laotian economic growth as well as the local MICE industry.
The event aimed to connect and leverage capabilities of businesspeople in the CLMVT region gearing towards the GMS market over the next few years.
Puripan said that on the occasion of Asean’s 50th anniversary this year, the Asean Tourism Forum had launched a campaign called “VisitAsean@50” with an aim of achieving 121 million international visitor arrivals to the region by the end of 2017.
“The linked borders among the CLMVT countries make our region an attractive destination to travellers in terms of logistic convenience,” he said.
“Accordingly, it is pivotal to strengthen the cooperation among CLMVT countries for enhancing the MICE industry to attract the increasing numbers of MICE travellers.
“It is known that MICE travellers’ spending is 3.5 times [as much as that of] other groups of travellers.”
He expressed admiration for the Laotian government’s vision of becoming a land-linked country to promote tourism.
“The reinforcement of the MICE industry in Laos will bring about joint development of the industry among CLMVT countries to cope with the growing numbers of MICE travellers in the years to come.
“The TCEB [takes the view] that each country should put an emphasis on greater collaboration rather than competition so that the MICE industry in our region can be strengthened and is able to attract more revenue.
“We further envisage greater collaboration for an integrated expansion towards the bigger GMS market and becoming one of the fast-growing tourism destinations in the world,” Puripan said.