Asia's Visitor's Bureaus Unite But What About Phuket?
Thailand's Convention and Exhibition Bureau is joining hands as part of an eight country Asian visitor bureau alliance which has been named the Asian Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus. Those participating include Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines. A key focus is to drive the lucrative MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) in the region.
It's unfortunate that Phuket lacks both a large scale convention center and a dedicated visitor's bureau whose purpose would be to assist in both short term strategies and long term development of the tourism market. TAT's existing mandate is stretched to the limit with virtually every market in the country underperforming back of the recent political events and global downturn. While there has been a recent upturn of coordinated support from organizations such as SKAL and the recently launched 'Summer in Phuket' event but what's truly needed is a non profit visitor's bureau for the island as global, regional and domestic markets.
As to the current location of the planned Phuket convention center, this seems to be something akin to finding the body of Jimmy Hoffa, and best filed under 'whereabouts unknown.'