The recently released 2016 Country and City Rankings by International Congress and Convention Association(ICCA) marked a new achievement for Thai MICE industry as Thailand jumped up to the 24th place among top country ranking by number of association meetings organized in 2016, from the 27th in 2015, with totally 174 international association meetings hosted in Thailand in 2016. The new ranking also spotlights Thailand as top country in ASEAN for association conventions, marking its best performance since 2012 when it ranked 25th in the world, and beating Singapore, longtime regional champion which dropped to number 28. Within the Asia-Pacific/Middle East region, Thailand moved up one notch, from 6th to 5th while Singapore was no. 6th and Malaysia 9th respectively.
Similarly, Bangkok continues its rise as association meeting hot spots, going from number 16 in 2015 to number 12 this year, with number of meetings reaching 121 in 2016, marking the city's highest volume performance since 2012. Comparing to Paris, the most popular city for association meetings for the 2016 ICCA Rankings, with totally 196 meetings hosted last year. Bangkok's performance was not dramatically far apart. Within the Asia-Pacific region, Bangkok's ranking moved up one spot to 3rd place from 4th in 2015.
Other Thai MICE cities also performed well in the rankings. Chiang Mai in northern Thailand hosted 20 international association meetings in 2016, also the city's best volume performance since 2012, which earned the city 6th place of the 21 ASEAN cities in the ICCA Statistical Report. The island of Phuket in the South hosted 13 meetings in 2016, placing it 10th place in ASEAN.
Two key international association meetings will take place in Thailand in the second half of 2017. Chicago-based Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) will be hosting 2017 PCMA Global Professional Conference Asia-Pacific in Bangkok during 28 – 31 August, the first time the event is being held in East and Southeast Asia. During 21-22 September, Thailand will also host the Brussels-based Union of International Associations' (UIA) Asia-Pacific Round Table in Chiang Mai. This is the second time UIA has chosen to hold this event in Thailand after the 2015 edition in Bangkok.
Rising momentum of Thailand as favorable world-class destination for international conventions as well as the country's constantly improving ICCA ranking reflect the capability and potential of Thai MICE industry that continue to gain trust and confidence in global markets. These are also the successful results of collaboration efforts between relevant public and private organizations to improve the country's competitiveness which continues to make Thailand outshine as a leading MICE hub in ASEAN, a truly preferred destination for business events from around the world.