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Thailand and Phuket’s conference sector look to a strong end to 2022

Conferences in Thailand
Conferences and events in Phuket

Thailand’s convention and conference sector is looking to an improved second half of 2022 – it couldn’t be much worse than the first half. Thailand’s MICE sector (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) is reporting a strong cycle of international events in Q3 and Q4 for this year.

Thailand’s busiest conference and exhibition venue, the curiously difficult-to-get-to Impact Exhibition and Convention Centre in Nonthaburi, is reporting over 500 events smaller and larger events for the second half of the year, including the Unicity conference for an expected 12,000 which just wrapped up (Bangkok also has the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre in Bang Na which accommodates up to 5,000).

The adjacent Impact Arena, home of many local concerts (it only seats 11,000 in concert configuration), reports 51 concerts this year. (larger open air concerts are held at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok which can seat up to 50,000 for international acts like the One Direction ‘On the Road Again Tour’, the Coldplay ‘A Head Full of Dreams Tour’, the BTS ‘Love Yourself World Tour’, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran).

The numbers represent a 50% capacity for Bangkok’s largest MICE facility.

The Thai government is currently offering a tax deduction for local seminars and exhibitions to help support the country’s MICE sector.

Thailand’s conference and exhibition sector has suffered in recent decades, lacking world-class facilities and crippling alcohol taxes for imported wines, etc, making functions an expensive proposition for organisers of international events.

Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, even lacks a dedicated conference, convention or exhibition venue, leaving it to the larger hotels to host smaller events, along with the vastly underused Royal Phuket Marina and the Angsana Convention and Exhibition Space, a bespoke marquee that can accommodate events up to 1,500 in the Laguna area, and Boat Lagoon’s 1,000 square metre ‘White House’ marquee.

MICE organisers in Thailand are predicting a resumption of up to 60% the pre-2020 conference traffic in Thailand if the situation continues to improve, noting that attracting international events is still a challenge at this time.

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