Exhibitions sector on track to buck sluggish economy
Despite a slowing economy, Thailand's exhibitions industry is expected to grow by more than 10% this year as political stability under the new government restores confidence among foreigners.
Based on statistics of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, the number of travellers who came for exhibitions during the first nine months of fiscal 2019 (October 2018 to June 2019) totalled 215,772, up 20% year-on-year. Those travellers contributed 15.2 billion baht in income to the economy, a 5.6% increase.
The exhibitions market is highly likely to post high growth this year, said Patrapee Chinachoti, co-chairman of Informa Markets Thailand.
Mr Patrapee said some positive sentiment was detected as exhibitors from Europe started to return to events in Thailand.
This year was the first time for the EU to showcase its products and businesses at the 27th Food & Hotel Thailand Expo, he said. Mr Patrapee's company helped organise the event.
Featuring 10 international pavilions with over 542 exhibitors from 40 countries, the event runs through Saturday at Bitec.
"Even though some foreign customers are worried about an economic slowdown from global tensions, particularly the US-China trade war that has impacted the supply chain on the mainland, we are still positive that the problem won't last long," Mr Patrapee said.
"Exhibition fairs at Bitec continue to gain positive momentum," said Panittha Buri, managing director of Bitec. "But we have to keep knocking on doors to stay connected with old customers and reach new ones."
She said Bitec plans to offer more business-to-consumer events such as Thai Teaw Thai and Pet Expo, while also increasing date and space availability to help support business growth next year.