Thailand-Seoul Promotes Bilateral Academic Exchange Programme (AEP), Broadens Mutual Framework to Build ‘Asian Future MICE Leaders’09/07/2012 TCEB Thailand
- 2 universities in Seoul confirm participation
- Thailand positions Koh Samui as new ‘World MICE destination’ at KME 2012
Seoul, 9 July 2012 – The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau or TCEB and the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) announced a plan to expand their MICE cooperation framework to encompass the educational arena. The two universities of Seoul- Kyung Hee University and Hallym University of Graduate Studies today signed a MoU with TCEB and Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) to establish a bilateral ‘Academic Exchange Programme (AEP). The purpose is to establish an inclusive foundation in Thailand and Seoul for creating future MICE leaders in Asia.
Mrs. Nichapa Yoswee, Director of MICE Capabilities Department, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, revealed that “As a government agency dedicated to supporting the MICE industry, TCEB is keenly aware of the importance of regional cooperation to enhance and develop standards within the industry. We are therefore proud to be joining with the Seoul Tourism Organisation (STO) to establish a framework for exchange and collaboration in MICE education. We have decided we will initiate the ‘Academic Exchange Programme (AEP) with an approach to educate present and future generations of MICE professionals.
According to Mr. Hong Heegon, President and CEO of Seoul Tourism Organization, “Last year’s MoU enabled STO to expand Seoul’s presence in Thailand’s MICE market. Seoul is a strong and important market for Thailand, and this year STO looks forward to working more closely with TCEB to maximize and broaden our framework of cooperation to the educational programme. The extension of the MICE education programme with Thailand provides a practical and engaging way for universities in Seoul to enhance professional standards among students through a wide range of academic activities. TCEB will be our key partner in helping to drive Korean MICE education to a higher level.”
The MoU was signed on 4th July 2012 by TCEB, STO, Kyung Hee University and Hallym University. It prepares the way to establish a long-term affiliation among the parties in four areas; 1) exchange of material and information; 2) shared academic research activities, including exchanges among visiting faculty members, research scholars and students; 3) cooperation in MICE curriculum development; and 4) joint organisation of symposia, conferences, short courses and meetings on research issues. The mutual partnership is designed to meet industry’s need and demands for quality education to improve the professional calibre of new graduates entering the workforce in order to extend and build Asia’s future MICE leaders.
In addition to the MoU, TCEB also announced its promotion of Koh Samui as Thailand’s latest globally preferred MICE destination. Speaking at KME 2012, Mr Puripan Bunnag, Senior Manager of TCEB’s Meetings Industry Department; disclosed that ‘during the last decade Koh Samui has become one of Southeast Asia’s premier tourist destinations, with a long and successful record in hosting MICE events. Apart from its popularity as a world-renowned tourist destination, currently Koh Samui has a series of major new developments in the pipeline during 2012-2014. These developments will significantly boost the island’s MICE industry.
Koh Samui is to be promoted internationally via its conceptual marketing initiative ‘MICE 3D’ following with sale-position claims at “Reward Your Success with 3 Dimensions of MICE Events in Samui”. MICE travellers will enjoy their experience on the island in 3 dimensions including: 1) Diversity of Recreations – Koh Samui offers a wide range of activities catering for everyone- from exciting outdoor adventure activities to a vibrant nightlife; 2) Devotion to Responsibilities – At Samui, beyond making profits, all MICE travellers will also be see a range of demonstrations of CSR programmes; and 3) Designation of Luxury – Samui has developed rapidly in recent years, and visitors will appreciate the wide range of luxurious accommodation and sophisticated facilities now available. Locally owned as well as international hotel chains offer an unrivalled experience that will meet and surpass every business need.
According to Surat Thani Provincial Office of Tourism, Koh Samui has 448 hotels offering a total capacity of 17,204 rooms. In addition, a major series of new hotel developments in the pipeline during 2012-2014 will create 500 new rooms. Also under development are the Vana Belle Samui Resort and Spa (opening in 2012), Movenpick Resort & Spa Mae Nam Beach (2012), Akaryn Samui (2012) and Ozo Samui (2014). Koh Samui is easily accessible by sea and air, and the island’s international airport is the country’s sixth busiest airport, handling over 1.4 million passengers in 2010. The island is served by 4 airlines: Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways, Firefly and Silk Air.
“Thanks to these developments, TCEB is confident that these conceptual ideas will inspire delegates’ imagination and see how their own MICE events in Samui could succeed amid the spectacular beach settings described by many as ‘Paradise on Earth’. Samui is one place in the world where everyone must visit at least once in their lifetime”, added Mr Puripan.
Thailand and South Korea have established a Joint Trade Commission (JTC) as a mechanism providing both countries an opportunity to expand bilateral trade and address long-term challenges and constraints. In the public sector, the establishment of the Korea-Thai Economic Cooperation Committee provides a forum for collaboration and dialogue between the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In terms of MICE Industry, South Korea is considered a high potential MICE market for Thailand. South Korean is Thailand’s sixth largest MICE market, with arrivals representing 6 per cent of all Asian MICE travellers to Thailand. A total of 23,570 South Korean MICE tourists visited Thailand in 2011, generating over 2 billion Thai Baht in foreign exchange earnings.
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