Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Business, Management and Economics
Meeting Site Selection Criteria for Inbound and Domestic MICE: Thailand’s Meeting Experts’ Perspectives
Jaruwan Suwannasast, Assistant Prof. Dr. Punthumadee Katawandee, Prof. Emeritus, Dr. Achara Chandrachai
There are many research studies on meeting destination competitiveness and site selection criteria, however, the empirical research of site selection attributes in developing countries like Thailand is still to be identified. This paper aims to investigate site selection attributes and present a conceptual framework to verify the importance of tangible attributes i.e. accessibilities, meeting facilities and additional conference opportunities. We also assess the intangible attributes such as destination information, local support, and site environments. All these factors will enhance Thailand’s competitiveness as an International and domestic meeting destination.The exploratory research method, combining in-depth interview and focus groups has been used with 12 local experts who specialize in meeting planning within Thailand. The literature review pre-determines site selection attributes included in meeting planner’s decision-making processes to design a qualitative interview. Each interviewee is asked to rank the importance of 44 criteria’s using a 1-7 scale (7 as highest importance and 1 as least importance. The findings will be used to compare similarities and differences with prior research. Consequently, the authors will develop a conceptual framework for meeting site selection criteria for inbound and domestic MICE in Thailand. According to the in-depth interviews, the accumulated 44 attributes are found to be aligned with previous literature with an average score of 5.2 out of 7.0. The 3 most important attributes are:1) Accommodation facilities 2) Accessibilities 3) Extra-conference opportunities. Further, focus group interviews suggest 17 new attributes, which falls into 1) Local support 2) Destination Information 3) Other criteria, respectively.The research aims for two objectives 1) Determine the importance of site selection attributes that will affect the meeting planner’s decision-making process. 2) Compare the similarities and differences of site selection criteria with those found in previous researches using perception of local experts from corporate meeting planners in Thailand.
Keywords: Meeting industry, destination selection attributes, site selection criteria, destination competitiveness, destination marketing.