Announcing the appointment of two new top executives – chairman of the board Mr. Anusak Inthraphuvasak and president Mr. Akapol Sorasuchart – TCEB shared its new organizational vision and its 7-year strategic plan to build competitiveness through the “Thai Team” initiative, a collaborative public-private partnership. The effort is expected to generate practical and long-term benefits and to increase confidence. This initiative will also press for policy and regulatory improvements to help drive industry growth and enhance convenience for group MICE visitors to Thailand. These efforts are expected to lead to a 25 percent growth in the number of MICE visitors to Thailand in 2010.
Commenting on his reasons for accepting the post, Mr. Anusak Inthraphuvasak, chairman of the board of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau said, “Major-General Sanan Kajornprasart, the deputy prime minister responsible for TCEB, proposed my name for the post, mainly in order to restore and develop the MICE sector in the wake of the impact of both domestic and external challenges since late 2008. Having studied the role and responsibilities of TCEB and Thailand’s MICE industry, I realized this was indeed a challenging position, both in terms of management and in terms of international policy, and saw that my experience of over 40 years in these areas could be put to good use.”
The most urgent task that faced Mr. Anusak on accepting the post was to recruit a new president for TCEB. Appointing a strong and able president was an essential prerequisite in order for the organization to move forward and perform its role effectively, particularly as TCEB had already been without a president for 7 months. Accordingly, on October 22, 2009, the TCEB board resolved to appoint Mr. Akapol Sorasuchart to begin working on November 1, 2009. The selection process was managed by a private recruitment agency (head-hunter) who submitted a list of names for TCEB’s consideration. TCEB’s board then made its final selection from the top 3 short-listed candidates.
“TCEB’s vision is not only to develop Thailand’s domestic MICE industry but also to strengthen international alliances. In addition, we will try to promote TCEB to be better recognized in Thailand and focus on the “Thai team” structure by visiting various organizations and associations on a regular basis. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to join TCEB now as HE Prime Minister Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva has prioritized the MICE industry as an important part in the country’s economic recovery. Domestic MICE is now firmly on the national agenda and receives strong support; public and private organizations can hold their conferences and gain 200 percent tax deduction on expenses.”
Public organizations must be administrated with flexibility and transparency. TCEB has to adjust its performance indicators and monitoring system to provide a clear, effective and practical working environment and build staff motivation and commitment.
Mr. Akapol Sorasuchart, president of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, said after taking this position that: “I was greatly honored to have been approached as a candidate for this position. I have previously worked with TCEB and have maintained a close interest in the evolution of the MICE industry. Looking at current global trends, I feel this is an emerging business sector with the potential to generate up to 15-25 percent annual growth and 50 billion baht income with 500,000 MICE visitors annually.
“With over 10 year[s of] experience in marketing administration with multinational corporations and a further 15 years serving in the public sector, I am confident that I can be an asset to TCEB and lead the organization to fulfill its mandate. However, TCEB will certainly need cooperation from all parties, including MICE operators and all Thai people who can help support us and warmly welcome our guests from around the world. TCEB’s first priority is to implement its 7 year strategic plan. This plan has already been presented to the past TCEB board and is almost complete.
Yesterday, the first committee meeting raised 2 key issues: first, the development of guidelines for a long-term, 7-year implementation plan and second, the drawing up of a short-term, 3-year plan, having studied the available documentation and interviewing MICE operators about the status of the convention and exhibition industry and its competitive situation. This exercise will allow TCEB to be able to analyze the organization’s strategic potential. We expect to reach a conclusion by November and finalize these plans by year end. This also means that guidelines and details can be announced to MICE operators, the media, and public by early next year. In 2010, TCEB has been allocated a budget of 749 million baht and has set a clear goal of 25 percent growth in terms of both income and MICE visitors.”