November Reopening Kick-Starts Thailand’ s Economic Recovery.

As of 1 November 2021, international visitors may fly into Thailand without mandatory quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and have negative test results pre-departure from low-risk countries, tentatively comprising of Australia, China (and Hong Kong), Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

The latest decisions, announced by Thailand’s Prime Minister, are part of Thailand’s “living with COVID” strategy and a key effort by the government to restart and boost the economy, while maintaining infections at a level that doesn’t overwhelm Thailand’s healthcare system. The moves, coupled with the continual relaxation of other countries’ travel restrictions, come after the pace of inoculations has been ramped up to major population and economic centers. The country's daily vaccination number increased threefold in July and kept increasing until Thailand rose to be among the 10 fastest countries in the world for administering shots, now *reaching 53.55 % of the total population and at this rate, 70 % could be fully vaccinated within 41 days, by 28 Nov. 2021. 

The first of November also marks a reopening of Bangkok and some towns in Chiang Mai, Phetchaburi, Chonburi (including Pattaya) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (including Hua Hin) with an expected USD 44.8 billion in revenue. This is in pursuit of the successful Phuket sandbox scheme which has generated USD 69 million and 43,026 international arrivals.

In line with the positive progresses, the exhibition industry, one of Thailand’s key economic drivers which has been supported by Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), is eager for the reopening and the coming international arrivals. Obviously, COVID has had a significant impact on the industry and all of us, but exhibition stakeholders have adapted their strategies and tactics to speed their recovery and their ability to be a catalyst for recovery and reinvention for the markets they serve. 

Venue operators across the country not only have strictly followed TCEB’s “New Normal” certified standards, but also have started to market and promote “new normal” event organization through TCEB’s subsidy and an introduction of innovation technology such as virtual inspection and online reservation system for exhibition venues. This September and October in Bangkok also see a virtual edition of several key trade shows including SUBCON Thailand, Medlab Asia and Asia Health, Thaifex, V-Connect Asia, LED Expo Thailand – Smartech ASEAN, Building Construction Technology Expo. The launch of virtual and digital solutions using cutting-edge technology demonstrates the resilience of Thailand's exhibition industry in the challenging times.

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Global Exhibition Industry Resurrects. Huge Int’l Opportunities in the Pipeline for Thai Stakeholders.

Looking at the global exhibitions, the re-emergence of trade shows in a COVID era promises to be positive particularly in China, the U.S. and European countries: Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom. The U.S. has smoothly restarted trade shows since June 2021 whereas key industry leaders have recently made a compelling case for the full and safe return of physical events supported with the research showing the safety of face-to-face business events when proper health and safety measures are in place. 

In Europe, German trade exhibitions have returned since the end of June 2021. A total of 113 are planned to be held safely under comprehensive hygiene and health practices.  In Switzerland, 212 trade fairs are set to take place in 75 cities. India appears to be the latest country to allow exhibitions to reopen with effect from this 15 October, under supervision of the national hygiene standard operating procedures. Besides, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) has called to reinvigorate ASEAN business events industry and reboot inter- and intra-regional business travel and puts forward a clear action plan to restart business events in the region. 

Consequently, a new window of global business opportunities and exclusive privileges are opening for Thai exhibition stakeholders to capitalize upon. International exhibitions in Thailand have been sequentially stabilized and empowered to thrive during a time of disruptive change. TCEB, originally an industry supporter, has redefined and shifted its role to be a co-creator, a partner collaborator, a thought leader and, as prescribed by a Royal Decree, a national bidder to acquire international trade shows into Thailand.  

Mrs. Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB’s Senior Vice President, unveils that TCEB’s Exhibitions Department is gearing towards 70 international trade shows from now until 2022. Thai exhibition stakeholders could relatively make the most of these international opportunities to grow business as TCEB’s Exhibitions Department has unceasingly explored global potential opportunities and provided generous subventions and supports on every touchpoint, namely, Thailand LOG-IN Next for new shows in Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and our COVID-19 Recovery Package inclusive of New Show Essentials, New Show/Existing Show Support, Exhibition New Norm, New Show in EEC Subsidy, Exhibiz in Market, ASEAN+6 Privilege, Exhibition Clinic, etc. 

Furthermore, by joining forces with the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), U-Tapao International Aviation Co., Ltd. and Pattaya City, TCEB’s role is successfully enhanced by a stage of Thailand International Air Show at U-Tapao Aerotropolis of which the announcement is in 2023 and the soft launch, in 2025.

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