Oct 1, 2006

Thai CEI industry unaffected by recent political change

BANGKOK Thailand's peaceful change of leadership has so far had a minimal effect on the business tourism industry with little disruption to events.

Thai CEI industry unaffected by recent political change
At the time of going to print the level of ancellations among incentives was unclear, but most destination management companies CEI Asia Pacific spoke to said postponements or complete withdrawals had been "minimal". Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) board member Opas Netraumpai said there had been "no impact on major convention and exhibition events". However, he added there may be a drop in incentive groups and that TCEB and the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association were assessing the situation. The Tourism Authority of Thailand also said there were no cancellations from foreign media familiarisation groups organised for September and October. As far as CEI Asia Pacific could ascertain, the only major event cancelled in Bangkok was the Bangkok preview (at All Seasons Place) of the fourth Phuket International Marine Expo. The actual event will take place in Phuket on December 7-10. Major exhibition and conference centres IMPACT, Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre and Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre confirmed all events held at their centres are continuing as scheduled. Meanwhile the second Association of Asia Pacific Airlines Aviation Emergency Response Conference continued over September 20-21 in Bangkok. The conference brought together more than 160 aviation industry professionals from around the region. Also pledging to continue on without disruption in October are two major events — the 67th Skal World Congress, and the combined Incentive Travel & Corporate Meetings Asia (IT&CMA) and Corporate Travel World (CTW) Asia-Pacific Show, both to be held in Pattaya. Skal International president Jan Sunde said he did not think moving the congress to another site was an issue to be discussed. IT&CMA organiser Phila Anne Tan said: "It is 'business as usual' for us and we are proceeding with the final preparations for our event." Despite the upbeat nature of all involved in the business event industry, most industry professionals advised to proceed normally with plans but "obviously monitor the situation". Major provincial business tourism centres such as Phuket, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin (including Pattaya) have reported no disruptions at all. But with Thailand's King having endorsed the change, there appears very little chance violence will play a part in this latest change of leadership.

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