By DAVID TAN
Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) president Natwut Amornvivat told a press briefing the present global economic environment had yet to negatively impact the MICE market.
The anticipated number of trade shows, conventions and exhibitions were still coming to Bangkok this year, he said.
“We are expecting to host at least 112 events in 2008, compared with 100 in 2007.
“This year we expect to welcome about 970,000 exhibitors, organisers, and business visitors.
“Next year, we expect the revenue from the MICE market to grow to US$2.5bil,” he said.
He added that TCEB and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration had recently launched the “Bangkok: The Exhibition City of Asean” campaign to promote the capital city as a MICE destination.
Amornvivat said due to the expected growth, two more convention centres were being planned - one each in Chiangmai and near the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
Presently, Bangkok has 250,000 sq m of exhibition and convention space and is ranked top among the Asean countries for having sold the most rental space by The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, an organisation based in France.
“This ranking should help us remain attractive to organisers of MICE events,” Amornvivat said.
Major international events to be hosted in Bangkok soon include ITU Telecom Asia 2008, Asean Energy Business Forum, and Metalex, the largest industrial machinery trade show in Asia.
“For 2009, we have won the bid to host the 24th Pacific Insurance Conference and the International Harm Reduction Association.
In 2010, we will host the Energex 2010 and the Round-Table World Council Meeting,” Amornvivat said.
Set up in 2004, TCEB is a government arm tasked with developing and promoting the country as the premier MICE destination in Asia.