- Özgür Töre
Actions taken by the Thai government and private agencies since the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) have raised the confidence within the MICE industry as 24 international and regional conventions and exhibitions involving more than 40,000 participants will proceed as planned over the next three months.
According to Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) President Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, key MICE events will proceed as scheduled. These include 18 global and regional conventions scheduled to take place from February to April in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket with a combined total of 17,800 delegates. In addition, Thailand is also set to host six international exhibitions from now until March with an expected turnout of 24,546 visitors.
He said Thai authorities and business operators have strictly followed the guidelines set by the UN's World Health Organization and will continue to do so in the fight against Covid-19.
"The Covid-19 only reminds us that we have tackled the spread of other viruses before so we are again working closely with all relevant parties to manage this situation. We are aware of WHO's recommendation -- to control the spark before it becomes a fire. So we are taking measures to control both the outbreak and the panic to achieve that goal".
Stringent screening has been in place at all international airports in Thailand since January 3, 2020. Thermoscan surveillance and health checks are ongoing at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket and Krabi airports. Our healthcare personnel are on standby to render emergency support.
Standard operating procedures already implemented include separation of flights and passengers from an infected origin country and other special arrangements such as the despatch of suspected patients to a Ministry of Public Health hospital for treatment, Mr Chiruit said.
Airports of Thailand have stepped up their maintenance regime with more frequent disinfection of high contact areas such as door knobs and countertops. All arriving passengers now receive a "Health Beware Card" in Chinese, English and Thai.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports have also issued advisories to travel agencies and airlines, instructing them to monitor and scale up health checks to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all visitors to the country.
Event venues, hotels and establishments with international visitors have been taking additional measures to prevent infection and transmission. Venue owners are installing Thermoscan cameras at the entrance to their properties and providing more alcohol-based sanitisers throughout their premises.
The six TCEB-supported international exhibitions scheduled up to March 2020 are Future Energy Asia by DMG Events, Thailand Coffee and Bakery 2020 by Kavin Intertrade, CPhl SEA 2020 by Informa Markets, VIV Health & Nutrition Asia 2020 by VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific, VICTAM Asia by Victam International BV and The Road & Traffic Thailand by Terrapinn.
VIV Health & Nutrition and VICTAM Asia are among the nine new exhibitions to debut in Thailand this year, which is expected to increase net space sold by 49,464 sqm. The other new shows are Maintenance and Resilience Asia, ASEANBIKE, Thailand Marine Offshore Expo, The Road & Traffic Expo, Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN, LOGIMAT and Medialab Asia Pacific.