by Stanley Ho | September 03, 2019
TCEB’s Director of Marketing Strategy, Mr Duangdej Yuaikwarmdee, giving his presentation to the international media at The Sukhothai hotel in Bangkok.

BANGKOK - Coming off a record performance in the 2019 financial year, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has set its sights on hosting an international air show in 2023, while continuing its focus on key markets in Southeast Asia, China, India, Europe and the United States.

In a presentation to a select group of international media at The Sukhothai hotel in Bangkok, TCEB's Director of Marketing Strategy, Mr Duangdej Yuaikwarmdee, said the bureau has completed a feasibility study and has identified U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport as the potential venue.

The media briefing was held at The Sukhothai hotel in Bangkok as part of TCEB's International Media Familiarisation Trip from Aug 28 to Sep 1.

Mrs. Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB's senior vice president - Business, revealed the study covers the global overview, regional market potential, industry feedback, competitive landscape, Thailand's EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor) development and the government's Thailand 4.0 initiative. "It also offers recommendations for Thailand to stage the event and economic impacts," she added.

Thailand has enjoyed remarkable growth in its aviation industry and is strengthening its status as a regional aviation hub. According to studies, Thailand's maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) sector is strong, with average growth of 11.8% a year, which is higher than the global rate (5.1%).

In 2018, the country's Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports handled a total of 634,011 flights (up 5.79% as compared to 2017) and handled a total of 103,378,371 passengers, a 7.39% increase. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has listed Thailand among the top-10 countries with the highest air traffic volume in the next 20 years.

To keep up with increasing flight demand, the Thai government will upgrade the U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport to establish it as the third main international airport in the Kingdom. This airport will be served by high-speed rail linking U-Tapao to the Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi Airports.

It is expected to be completed by 2023, culminating with the hosting of the international air show. TCEB expects the air show to stimulate spending of 1.4 billion baht (US$45 million) and create 900 jobs for locals.

The air show plans come at the back of TCEB's record performances in the 2019 financial year. Thailand's MICE sector is seeing a 6.25% jump in overseas visitor arrivals to 967,828 for Q1 to Q3 of 2019, and a 2.23% hike in revenue to 70,438 million baht against the same period last year.

The bureau is forecasting an 11% growth in overseas MICE visitors to 1,386,000 arrivals and a 5% jump in revenue to 105,600 million baht.