26 September 2023: TCEB is preparing to increase MICE Lane service covering 5 major airports to facilitate MICE travellers from China and Kazakhstan in accordance with the Government’s visa exemption policy for tourists from China and Kazakhstan which aims to stimulate the economy in the short term.
Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, disclosed that according to the cabinet resolution on a tourist visa exemption scheme for Chinese and Kazakhstani tourists in order to facilitate quality travellers and boost national economy in the short term, the policy approved a period not exceeding 30 days of stay in the Kingdom, from 25 September 2023 to 29 February 2024 or around 5 months.
On 25 September 2023, TCEB, together with Phuket Province, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Phuket Tourist Association, have arranged a greeting ceremony for visa-free visitors from China and Kazakhstan on the inaugural flight landed at Phuket International Airport. Mr. Puripan Bunnag, TCEB Senior Vice President, has led the MICE Lane officers to welcome the group right outside the jet bridge. A welcome board and souvenirs were also presented. The first fight from Kazakhstan was KC 563 by Air Astana, which landed at 09.25 a.m. carrying 223 passengers from Almaty to Phuket, whereas the first fight from China was CA 821 by Air China, which landed at 05.45 p.m. with 237 passengers from Beijing to Phuket. There are another 2 flights from China, which will depart from Hangzhou with 158 passengers and from Shanghai with 180 passengers.
At the present, TCEB operates the MICE Lane, which is an exclusive service of TCEB that features immigration service through a special lane. MICE Lane efficiently welcomes MICE travellers at 2 major airports, including Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang International Airport. Reception desk is available at the two airports with the officers providing 24-hour service. In order to respond to the Government’s policy, in the fiscal year 2024 (October 2023 - September 2024), TCEB has planned to extend MICE Lane service to cover 5 major airports: Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Mueang International Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport, Phuket International Airport and Udonthani Airport, aiming to promote the impression in choosing Thailand as the host country for international convention and exhibition.
To achieve this, the MICE Lane service is divided into 3 categories: 1) VVIP, such as distinguished figures of the host country, CEO, leaders of international summit or exhibition; 2) VIP, such as event executives or management of delegate companies; and 3) Delegate. In order that, the Government’s policy of not requiring visas for Chinese and Kazakhstani visitors is expected to increase the number of MICE travellers in 5-month period, especially from China, which ranks third in the number of international MICE travellers in Thailand. Moreover, it is estimated that there will be 35,000 MICE travellers from China entering into Thailand, no less than 3,500 will be using MICE Lane service, which will encourage to generate more revenue from MICE industry and also stimulate the economy this year end and further to the first quarter of 2024.