The 30th edition of the IT&CMA and 25th edition of the CTW Asia-Pacific, Asia Pacific’s only double-bill event in MICE and corporate travel, has been staged successfully in Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, 20-22 September.
Strategic destination partner TCEB and official airline THAI Airways International were major supporters of this year’s shows. The 2022 editions featured a multitude of business, education and networking sessions.
“We are proud to be a part of the global tourism recovery post pandemic and we welcome both new and returning exhibitors, destinations, and brands, as well as our MICE, Association and Corporate Buyer,” one of the organisers, Darren Ng, managing director, TTG Asia Media, told a press conference in Bangkok.
He said this year new and enhanced components were added to complement the usual one-on-one appointments for exhibitors and buyers.
The 2022 edition also marked the first hybrid event for IT&CMA and introduced new initiatives such as Hybrid Business Meets, 3D Virtual Exhibition and Scheduled Meetings with streaming broadcasts and remote participation. Following the three-day in-person event, the show continues as virtual only until 28 September, allowing those who still face travel restrictions to participate virtually.
The opening keynote was delivered by Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president, TCEB, followed by a panel discussion which touched on the revival of the business events industry, with panelists Max Boontawee Jantasuwan, president of SITE Thailand Chapter; Waikin Wong, regional director Asia Pacific, ICCA, and Supanich Thiansing, director of meetings and incentives department, TCEB. All agreed that business events have rebounded strongly and swiftly, however obstacles in human resource had placed a glass ceiling on recovery potential, they noted.
Other knowledge sessions included: ‘How Conferences Have Changed and What’s in Store for the Future’ by IAPCO and ‘Organisational Changes and its Impact on Talent Management’ by ICCA.
CTW Asia-Pacific corporate travel professionals had their own dedicated conference to facilitate knowledge sharing on corporate travel management trends on ‘Vision of Value in Business Travel’ and best practices on ‘Walking the Sustainability Talk’.
Partner event – the IMEX-MPI-MCI-IT&CMA Future Leaders Forum continued to cultivate and inspire youth to be a part of the next generation of MICE industry leaders and talent.
TCEB has also noted that arrival numbers are up with many large-scale events recently concluded successfully and more due to take place over the coming months.
From October 2021 to June 2022, three-quarters if TCEB’s fiscal year, a total of 3.4m MICE travellers, both overseas and domestic, were recorded in Thailand with an estimated 16.34bn baht (US$440m) in revenue.
By the end of September, TCEB said it expects expect to reach the target of 6.13m MICE travellers and an estimated revenue of 28.4bn baht.
Recent events included the Global Summit of Women – held in June 2022. The first large-scale international convention held face-to-face in Thailand post-Covid. It brought a gathering of 600 female leaders in Bangkok from 52 countries.
In November 2023, Bangkok will play host to the 62nd ICCA Annual Congress. It will be the third time Thailand will host the ICCA Congress having held it back in 1985 and 2007.
Thailand is also working on TCEB’s home grown event on a global scale. The first Thailand International Air Show is due to take place in 2027 at the U-Tapao International Airport near Pattaya. The show will support the aviation industry and defence industry. The two sectors belong to 12 strategic industries of the Thai government for the Eastern Economic Corridor.