Thailand's capital – Bangkok will soon get its first city observation tower which will have a height of 459-metres or 1506 ft. The Bangkok Observation Tower will rank 6th among the world's tallest towers as well as be the tallest observation tower in Southeast Asia.
The tower is being jointly built by two foundations, the Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation and the National Identity Foundation, after the Thai cabinet recently gave approval for the country's new landmark project to proceed. The cost of construction, totaling approximately US$138 million is being funded by more than 50 private sector organisations who are contributing to the project.
Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the Bangkok Observation Tower is set on a 6,400 square metre land plot owned by Thailand's Treasury Department and leased to the Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation for 30 years. The Foundation is required to deliver ownership of the tower and all other structures on the land to the Treasury Department when the construction is completed in 2019.
The tower has been enthusiastically embraced by Thailand's tourism sector as a much-needed addition to the nation's tourist-pulling attractions and as a catalyst to investment and employment in the sector.
Mr. Ittirith Kinglake, President, Tourism Council of Thailand, said, "The tower is the most important new addition to Bangkok's rich array of tourism magnets and one that will attract people from around the world. The Bangkok Observation Tower helps mark our city as one of the world's most important and exciting destinations."
He cited parallels with the Tokyo Skytree and Shanghai's Canton Tower as powerful tourism drivers for their host city.
Local residents in the vicinity of the tower have been very welcoming of the initiative, believing it will lift interest in their communities, creating new employment and boosting their livelihoods.
The location in Klongsarn District is reputedly the historic site on which a flag would be flown, several centuries ago, as a symbolic marker to foreign vessels navigating the river to tell them that they were in Siamese territory.
The Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that has the right to operate and manage the tower for 30 years. There is no commercial space for rent inside the tower. The space inside the tower will be used for educational purpose promoting Thailand's historical and cultural heritage as well as various aspects of particular pride from Thailand's 77 provinces. The surplus from income generated from ticket sells and other sources will be used for social causes that benefit the local community or for charities only.