Phuket loses Expo bid

Phuket loses Expo bid

Belgrade chosen to host international event after four rounds of voting

An artist’s rendition shows the site Phuket had proposed for Specialised Expo 2028.
An artist’s rendition shows the site Phuket had proposed for Specialised Expo 2028.

Phuket has lost its bid to host the Specialised Expo 2027-28, which has been awarded to Belgrade, Serbia.

The decision was announced on Wednesday after four rounds of voting by member countries of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE)

Phuket had been planning its bid for the event since 2020, seeing it as a big economic difference-maker that could attract 7 million visitors and generate income of 50 billion baht over a three-month period.

The Thailand bid team proposed Phuket as the site of events and exhibitions that would showcase the theme “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity”.

But Belgrade prevailed and its exhibition, under the theme of “Play for Humanity: Sport and Music for All”, will be staged from May 15 to Aug 15, 2027.

Representatives of eligible BIE members on Wednesday elected the host country in a secret ballot using electronic voting. As no candidate received the two-thirds majority required to win in the first three rounds, Serbia and Spain moved into a final round, where a simple majority of votes cast was required to be selected.

In the first round, Thailand received 16 votes, placing fourth in a five-country field that also included the United States, Serbia, Spain and Argentina. Thailand fell out of the running in the second round after placing fourth, and the US was eliminated in the third round. That left Serbia and Spain in the fourth round, with the former winning by 74 votes to 53.

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