The United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) via the Hello Kitty Global Channel, in cooperation with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, has named Ko Tao as the island with a strong community committed to coral reef conservation. The announcement makes Ko Tao as one of the global communities that follows “Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources” under the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Ko Tao – which means Turtle Island – was given the name because its pristine beaches have long been breeding and egg-laying sites for green turtles. Today, the island is Thailand’s most popular scuba-diving destination, and there are many diving schools, shops, resorts and diving tour operators, which cater for beginners and experienced divers alike.
Dive operators and local dive schools on Ko Tao are praised for adopting the Green Fins practices to protect the marine environment. Divers are usually among some of the most ecologically aware individuals on the planet and are well schooled that proper diving means avoiding contact with any plant or marine life they encounter. With Ko Tao’s ongoing sustainable, community-based initiatives, the island’s marine environment is always prepared to handle future generations of eco-aware divers and tourists.
There is also an on-going drive by the local people and authorities to preserve the natural wonders of Ko Tao and keep it clean and pristine, while trying to cater for the many young people who go there, with a range of food and nightlife options.
Located just off the mainland province of Surat Thani in Southern Thailand, Ko Tao can be reached by speedboat or ferry from Samui and the mainland. Once there, travellers can enjoy powdery, white sandy beaches washed by the waves of crystal-clear seawater.
Last year Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau held a MICE Intelligence & Innovation Conference in Bangkok on the concept “Breakthrough the Hype – Uncover the Reality of Customer Insights”.
In the event, The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau made an announcement of the establishment of MICE Intelligence to respond to the changing behaviours of the MICE community with a strategy driven by MICE Intelligence and Innovation that encompasses 16 highlighted projects based on the 3-year MICE business development plan (2019-2021).
Keeping up with global trends and market surveys, TCEB is armed with a 5-year Master Plan for the MICE industry, and a 20-year Strategy Master Plan.
TCEB launches the “Virtual Meeting Space” project, providing support for MICE entrepreneurs to keep their business alive by running business events online and re-skilling their manpower via a virtual platform. Another project “COVID-19 Free Meetings” will support MICE venue to upgrade their safety and health standards. The two projects are in response to the spread of the COVID-19 and global lockdown, which put physical events and activities to a halt.
Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, stated that as a government agency, TCEB has initiated and will implement the two projects as part of the government’s economic relief measures, which will benefit MICE entrepreneurs and workforce, such as tax reduction, an extension of the tax filing period, higher tax deduction, reducing interest rate for debt, soft loan, an extension of electricity bill payment, wage compensation, etc.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the postponement and cancellation of MICE events worldwide. Online or virtual platform has become an alternative for events that can ensure business survival. Thai entrepreneurs need to adapt themselves to such business platform. In this respect, TCEB has designed two key projects. The first one “Virtual Meeting Space” (VMS) is to enable Thai MICE entrepreneurs to continue their business and to re-skill their workforce and the other, “COVID-19 Free Meetings”, aims to assist MICE venue operators to upgrade the safety standard of their facilities”.
To run “Virtual Meeting Space” or VMS project, TCEB will provide support for holding events on the online platform in 3 categories:
Webinar – TCEB will support in the preparation and management of this online platform. This includes production and preparation of a studio for LIVE, as well as, technical co-ordination and system monitoring during LIVE. The organizers can run their slide presentation during the meeting session, while interaction to share experiences, discussion with the speaker, Q&A and a poll or survey can be conducted. The session can cater up to 10,000 attendees at a time.
O2O (Offline to Online) – This platform caters to exhibitions. TCEB will support in the arrangement and management of an online platform for exhibitors, as well as, support for LIVE streaming from either a studio or the organizer’s venue. The support covers sequencing, production, controlling, system monitoring during LIVE streaming and preparation of technical co-ordination. Exhibitors can showcase their activities, products and services as needed. The online payment system is also equipped to boost sales volume.
E-Learning Platform – It is an online learning centre for MICE entrepreneurs to re-skill or up-skill their workforce. There are six courses run from May to October 2020 by Southeast Asia Center or SEAC on YourNextU platform: 1. Project Management 2. Inter-personnel Skills 3. Management 4. Communication 5. Entrepreneurship and 6. Digital. Learners will receive a certification from TCEB if they complete course requisites. TCEB welcomes application from 250 MICE entrepreneurs.
VMS project will begin in May 2020 onward. For enquiry, please contact
MICE Intelligence and Innovation Department, TCEB, at E-mail:
For the second project, “COVID-19 FREE Meetings”, TCEB will provide 30,000 baht subsidy for each MICE premise to formulate plans and prepare tools that fit the measures in the screening and prevention of COVID-19 stipulated by the Ministry of Public Health. For example, the installation of body temperature monitoring system, the screening of body temperature before participation, the screening of delegate’s timeline, the preparation of hand-washing points and alcohol dispensers, the practice of social distancing, etc. The project aims to help the venues gain confidence in their health and safety measures from the clients.
To be eligible for the support of this project, the venue must be certified with Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) or hotel entrepreneurs must be members of the Thai Hotel Association (THA). TCEB forecasts that the project will be able to support up to 216 MICE venues nationwide under the 6,480,000 baht budget.
COVID-19 FREE Meetings project will be running from April to June 2020. Enquiry and registration for support can be made with MICE Capabilities Department, TCEB, at E-mail: MICEstandards@gmail.com
“Apart from the two projects, TCEB has set up the TCEB COVID-19 Information Center to serve as a communication centre during this critical period. The centre will monitor, compile, examine and assess the information, especially the impacts of the disease on the MICE industry, and produce recommendations for the industry. The second task of the centre is to update the situation, especially government’s rules, regulations and announcements, and publicise them to the industry so that they are kept abreast of the development that may impact their business and plans.” concluded Mr. Chiruit.