Impact Exhibition Management Co is partnering with foreign events organisers to bring several world trade fairs to Bangkok in 2018 to further promote Thailand as a regional hub for meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) business.

General manager Loy Joon How said this year Impact began working with international peers, particularly in France and Germany, to hold their established events in Thailand. The move is aimed at reinforcing Thailand as a hub for the MICE business, which is booming across the region here.

"Impact and its partners plan on having at least three international events take place for the first time at Impact Muang Thong Thani next year," Mr Loy said.

The Silmo Bangkok-Asean Optical Fair, organised from France, is set for June 20-22, he said. The event is expected to attract 200 trade companies and more than 4,000 visitors. Thailand is the world's largest manufacturer of optical lenses, accounting for 22% of global demand or 800-900 million lenses per year.

Medical Devices Asean 2018 is planned for July 11-13, which is expected to draw in 150 companies and 4,000 trade visitors involved in the business. The event is projected to strengthen the healthcare industry in Thailand and the region.

Healthcare spending in Thailand is estimated to reach 617 billion baht in 2018, with an average of 8% growth from 2014 to 2018. The medical device industry in Thailand is expected to be worth 42 billion baht this year, a 12% rise from last year.

Cebit Asean Thailand is planned for Oct 18-20, which seeks to capitalise on the government's 10-year roadmap towards a digital economy and society. The trade show is expected to attract 300 exhibitors and 8,000 visitors.

Mr Loy said Impact plans to organise or co-host 12 other annual events involving agricultural, construction, facility management, green management, retail and lighting in Bangkok in the future. All events will serve demand in Southeast Asia.

Bangkok Land Plc, owner of Impact, has invested a large sum in convention and exhibition halls, meeting venues, theme parks, hotels, shops and retail as well as MICE facilities over the past 18 years. More investments are in the pipeline.

During its first 10 years of operations, Impact offered rental space to exhibitors before moving to operate food and beverage service and event management by themselves the past seven years. It is now shifting to become an organiser for international events.

Mr Loy said Impact will host a total of 800 events in 2017, similar to last year. But the number will be slightly increased in 2018 because it is the country's largest MICE venue and annual visitors should exceed 10 million.

"The MICE business in Southeast Asia will continue to grow, as will tourism," he said.

For Impact's fiscal year of April 2016 to March 2017, its revenue was 1.91 billion baht and profit 999 million, down from 2.12 billion baht and 1.1 billion, respectively, the previous year. Space rental made up 82% of total revenue.

Impact expects its revenue to grow by 7% for the next fiscal year to 2.04 billion baht and average occupancy rate to be around 50% of space.

Impact has 58% of the MICE market share, followed by Bitec (19%), Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (11%) and Royal Paragon Hall (2%).

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