Special Report: Ayutthaya eyes hosting World Expo 2020

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The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has announced that the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya has made positive progress in its bid as the host of the World Expo 2020.

According to TCEB Mice Capabilities Director Ms. Nichapa Yoswee, the organization has received compliments on its proposed theme ‘Sustainable Living, Balanced Life’, which is seen by many as the most far-sighted one thus far.

She said that the theme promoting a sense of coming back to the nature has captured the right trend.

According to Ms. Nichapa, Ayutthaya is once again ready to welcome visitors as the area has been fully rehabilitated after it was badly hit by the flood last year.

She added that when looking on a brighter side of things, the flood gave Ayutthaya preparation grounds for future disasters.

Staff from TCEB will fly to France this November to submit another hosting proposal to the World Expo committee. The final results will be announced in November next year.

TCEB has also disclosed its strategic plan for 2013, which involves more efforts to attract MICE, or Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition, operators to organize events in Thailand.

According to Acting TCEB President Mr. Thongchai Sridama, for the past decade, the MICE business has generated revenue of more than 400 billion baht and drew over 5.6 million visitors to the country.

In the next fiscal year, he said a huge number of foreigners will visit the country for MICE events, such as the World Stamp Thailand 2013 and the ProHealth China Convention 2012. Each of the events is expected to attract an average of over 10,000 participants.

Mr. Thongchai also announced to push forward the improvement of the MICE industry by offering educational courses at 28 universities, aiming to establish Thailand as the center of MICE education in Asia. A MICE hotline will also be set up.

He also emphasized that TCEB has become the first of the MICE sectors worldwide to pass ISO500001, certified for energy sustainable management. The bureau has also set a target to adjust MICE events to be more environmental-friendly.

He added that the sustainable mindset will help reduce production costs and draw in more event organizers, as it will strengthen Thailand’s image as a country with sustainable natural resources.