Following the reopening of Phuket, Chiangmai and Chonburi are next in the pipeline.
Phuket became the first province in Thailand to welcome back international tourists without quarantine requirements on July 1, 2021. As Thailand works towards a full reopening, foreign travellers who are fully vaccinated are allowed to enter certain parts of Thailand as part of an experimental tourism Sandbox Model designed to help the economy recover from the pandemic.
Koh Samui and the surrounding islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are preparing for their ‘Samui Plus‘ reopening beginning July 15, while Chiangmai and Chonburi (Pattaya) are in the pipeline for reopening by this August and October, respectively.
The implementation of the Sandbox Model follows Thailand’s mass vaccination in June and now has risen to the third spot among ASEAN countries with the highest number of COVID-19 shots administered.
Since its reopening, more than 2,000 travellers have entered Phuket from overseas, and only one person has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Phuket governor Narong Woonsiew.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has recently announced that the country will speed up to reopen its borders within 120 days to international tourists after a year of restriction.
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), in the meantime, is ready to help revitalise the national economy. According to Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB’s Senior Vice President – Business, despite the new wave of COVID-19, the Thai government continues their intense focus on the mega-investment initiatives at the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). Likewise, TCEB has set forth strategic campaigns and incentives for new international shows and organisers, especially those targeting EEC and the 12 focus industries. There will be 46 trade shows on this year’s calendar, and TCEB will support 56 international exhibitions in 2022, a record high to generate almost USD740 million in direct revenue to Thailand.
TCEB’s 360-degree support to the exhibition industry in economic revitalisation.
Since the pandemic outbreak, TCEB has formulated the following exhibition industry strategies to provide all-round support, including subsidies to stimulate international and domestic exhibitions throughout this year:
- Attract new shows and clustering events to draw more visitors and exhibitors.
- Revisit existing show profiles/portfolios into potential areas offering more privileges and benefits, such as Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and MICE Cities.
- Support hybrid exhibitions
- Encourage “New Normal Exhibitions” utilising innovation and technology to enhance the visitor experience through an online platform, which will create business opportunities and lower physical touchpoints at the shows.
TCEB and TEA team up to celebrate GED 2021 for worldwide trade show recovery.
On June 2, 2021, at the Exhibition Strives Back seminar, TCEB was invited to celebrate Global Exhibition Day 2021 (GED 2021) as one of Thailand’s exhibition industry’s forefront promoters and supporters. At the event, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of TCEB, stated that even though the COVID-19 had substantially affected businesses in all segments, TCEB’s operations, focusing consistently on the development of the industry’s infrastructure, workforce and technology, could ensure that Thailand stands ready for competition once the country reopens.
The Thai Exhibition Association (TEA) also shares a similar view. “Exhibition organisers would likely be able to reopen the organisation of face-to-face exhibitions once they are approved to be held in a safe and controlled manner and in compliance with prevailing health and safety standards,” said Pravit Sribanditmongkol, TEA President.
To quickly revitalise the exhibitions industry, TCEB is currently seeking support and approval from the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to accelerate vaccination for MICE industrialists and ease up control measures and restrictions for business events.
Exhibitions are globally recognised as crucial to rebuilding the economy, and the business events industry is part of the Thai economic stimulus mechanism. To raise the awareness and the importance of the MICE industry, particularly in Thailand, the Thai cabinet has officially announced April 26 as “National MICE Day”.