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Thailand Accelerates MICE Venue Standards Certification to Include Almost 500 Venues in 2018
November 5, 2018
Thailand's Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is raising the bar to become even more competitive in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) business by actively pushing its Thailand MICE Venue Standards (TMVS) certification to include 490 accredited venues by the close of 2018.
Currently, there are 315 venues certified, while TCEB and its partners on the TMVS board will approve another 175 establishments by year-end to reach the target.
As part of the tough certification process, successful venues are required to achieve high scores for demonstrating a commitment to community and environment projects that strengthen sustainability. Stringent benchmarking and assessment will be accomplished through inclusive collaboration between TCEB and private and public sector stakeholders.
TCEB Senior Vice President - Strategic Business Development and Innovation, Supawan Teerarat emphasised the importance of the TMVS project noting it raised the quality and service delivery of meeting venues across the country.
"Thailand MICE Venue Standards (TMVS) certification is a priority and one of our main missions to enhance the image and confidence of Thailand's MICE industry in the eyes of both service providers and users worldwide," she said.
"Additionally, TMVS serves as a strategic tool to leverage the service quality of MICE venues and enhance marketing promotions for Thai MICE entrepreneurs."
TCEB has joined hands with 17 key travel industry associations, state agencies and educational institutions to implement assessment with the latest round of certification due to be completed this December.
Input from the travel industry is driven by Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA), Trade Exhibition Association (Thai), Business of Creative and Event Management Association (EMA), Thai Hotels Association (THA) and the Association Of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA).
Government agencies involved in the TMVS process include the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Department of Provincial Administration.
Providing vital expertise in the assessment process are educational institutes such as the National Institute for Development of Teachers; Faculty Staff and Educational Personnel (NIDTEP), Ministry of Education, Mahidol University, Kanchanabhishek Institute of Medical and Public Health Technology (KMPHT).
The TMVS process involves three vital steps starting with the venue's presentation of in-depth information, qualifications and data as well as screening and workshop participation that concludes with a certificate of attendance. The second step focuses on a detailed assessment by the TMVS board and finally the process concludes with the granting of certification and inclusion in the official TMVS directory.
During May to August this year, workshops were organised by TCEB in 10 cities and provinces comprising of Bangkok, Rayong, Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, Prachuab Khirikhan, Songkhla and Pattaya.
During the workshop phase, 553 delegates attended representing 267 MICE venues, of which 181 venues moved to the next step and applied for TMVS assessment.
Strong support for the initiative has been monitored from entrepreneurs across Thailand seeking TMVS certification. In addition, the reassessment rate for companies that needed to renew their certification, after two years, is a high 74%, reaffirming the commercial value of TMVS endorsement.
Venue assessment for the convention room category was based on physical attributes, technology and management-service, while the exhibition venue category was given the additional criteria of demonstrating a high level of sustainable venue management.
The special events venue category had also to address safety, considered an essential factor in determining eligibility for certification.
In the final round of assessment for TMVS certification members of the board, made up of representatives from the 17 partners in the public and private sectors, as well as education institutions and trade associations conduct a final review and evaluation of all applications.
Once venues are officially certified they will be included in TCEB's advertising and public relations activities and also in a TMVS directory to promote the venues to event planners in Thailand and worldwide.
Commenting on the assessment criteria, Dr Natthanitcha Singburaudom, a professor at Mahidol University and a member of the team that developed the TMVS, said the process embraced key elements that are vital to meet the needs of domestic and international exhibitors and organisers.
"It places considerable emphasis on environmental impacts. The certification will give users confidence as well as serve the growth of Thailand's MICE.
"As part of the assessment criteria team, the past four years confirmed entrepreneurs recognise the importance of documentation, examination and monitoring of service quality, while entrepreneurs in districts outside of the designated MICE Cities who run MICE venues are now keen to apply for TMVS certification."
Serving as TMVS assessor since 2015, Management System Certification Institute's president, Punnee Angsusingha, noted there was a strict compliance with the code of conduct based on professional standards reflecting transparency and neutral assessment.
The institute has conducted the assessments for TMVS according to international standards, which include ISO/IEC 17021-1, ISO 50003, UNFCCC Accreditation Standard & ISO/IEC 17020 conformity assessment. This included requirements for agencies providing audit and certification of management systems, CDM & Requirements for agencies providing audits and ISO 19011 Guidelines for auditing management systems.
Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) president, Sumate Sudasna, who is also the TMVS certification board chairperson, noted the standard plays a vital role in leveraging MICE venues in Thailand to achieve unrivalled reliability.
"Each year, we have seen growth in new and existing organisations that seek the mandatory re-assessment," he said. "This is a promising opportunity for us to assist Thailand's MICE venues to boost their potential. As a user, before making a decision to book a MICE venue, facilities with certification are given priority in order to assure our customers of venue quality."
A breakdown of 175 new venues due to be certified by year-end identifies 150 venues in the Convention Room category, five venues in the Exhibition Venue category and 20 venues in the Special Event category.
This will see Thailand close the year with 490 TMVS-certified venues.
"This is a massive achievement and a clear endorsement of Thailand's leadership as a premier MICE destination in the ASEAN region," concluded Supawan, TCEB's senior vice president.
Provision of knowledge
1. MICE venues apply for a workshop 2. MICE venue screening 3. Workshop commences 4. Certificate of attendance is given
5. Application is open for assessment6. Assessment commences
7. Members of the Board convene to examine the certification8. Certification is granted9. Directory is produced
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