Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports focuses on the benefits to Thailand and Asean of hosting the SportAccord 2018, many of which go far beyond the economic gains…
The SportAccord 2018 is set to take place at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre, Thailand from April 15-20 2018. SportAccord is one of the most prestigious sports service events in the international calendar, with potentially far-reaching benefits for the host city and country.
According to Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, the Sport Accord represents a great opportunity for Thai and also Asean citizens to get involved in a major international sporting event where all the big players in sport are gathered together under one roof, in one place and at one time.
“Logistically, it’s very difficult to get all of these sports representatives together in any one particular city at the same time. At SportAccord, every sports fan or sports player will have access to the big names at some point. The second important thing is the content that will be discussed during SportAccord. The delegates will address the major trends and issues in sports, many of which will be very beneficial for participants or those who have access to the
SportAccord. They will get to understand the directions and trends in sport, which will help sports planners and sports industry representatives gain a clearer picture of what they should be doing or where they should be investing.”
He added that the key issues of rules, sportsmanship and sports culture will also be discussed and should help focus the attention of athletes and sports representatives on the true meaning of sports participation, which is not about winning and losing but about sharing and helping. “That is the true spirit of sport and I believe that SportAccord will be one of the loudest speakers to focus international attention on this issue.”
SportAccord is the only annual sports business summit where all the international sport federations are guaranteed to attend, including international sport federations, organising committees, cities and regions and make up over seventy-five per cent of total exhibitors. Thai businesses and sports industry representatives can therefore gain access to leaders in the international sports industry.
“If possible Thai businesses should come to the SportAccord as exhibitors, to showcase their potential and performance in the sports industry,” said Mr. Weerasak. “Thailand is second to none as one of the world’s major exporting countries. We are also well known for the quality of our services, for sports events and in terms of management and administration. Thai business people should gain access to these leaders in the field of sports at the SportAccord. By the end of the event I’d like to see us amass a directory of international buyers for the industry. At the same time,
buyers from around the world can benefit from knowing that there are so many manufacturers and service providers available here in Thailand.”
The Tourism and Sports Minister added that regional manufacturers and service providers need to realize and be able to accommodate changes in the social and cultural landscape of Thailand and Asean.
“Manufacturers need to understand and adapt to the realities of the aging population and the shift from a manufacturing to a service-based economy. Recreational activities for the middle income groups will be one of the major social and cultural movements of this generation – that means tourism for all, sports for all, activities for all.”
In Thailand, for the first time at the SportAccord 2018, outdoor activities will be held every evening for participants of the SportAccord in the ground floor area in front of the conference venue. The Sports Festival will enable representatives of international sports federations, industry and sports people to interact with normal people passing by.
“Participants of SportAccord will see how enthusiastic the viewers are to be a part of the event, to meet their sports heroes, and to go back home and practice in sport. That is something you don’t usually find at sports events,” said the Minister.
He added that sports events, where people from different backgrounds and cultures come together to compete under the same rules, create a new atmosphere for socialization of people to adapt to life in the modern world.
“The rules and culture of sport bring people together, which fosters peace and prosperity, not only economically but also socially and culturally. This is even more valuable than the money spent on sports events. You always encounter friendship during sports events, and these bonds of friendship last much longer than the events themselves. We have seen so many times that international conflicts and politics have been solved through sports events because people come together under a common understanding and the winning and losing is not important.”
Top international sporting destination
As the major international summit in sports, SportAccord promises host countries a number of lasting benefits, not least as a top sports destination in the future. Nonetheless, a number of supporting factors need to be in place to enable Thailand to become a top destination for global sports events, according to the Minister of Tourism and Sports.
“First we need to raise standards – the standard of how sports events are organized to achieve recognition,” said Mr. Weerasak. “Raising the bar on standards will draw the right kind of attention from the right people and the right sports.
“Secondly, we need to emphasize variety. Thailand is known for its variety in terms of culture and geography, so we can accommodate all kinds of sports events, all year round. That will stir up the sporting spirit among both viewers and sports people, as well as those involved in finance and industry to be active throughout the year.
“The last factor, which is an important one, is to emphasize the spirit of sport. We can see this in the recent example of the rock star Toon, who ran from the south to the north of the country for charity. What he did was not sport or exercise, but rather an endeavor that he undertook entirely for the benefit of others, not himself. This spirit is what sport is all about. It brings about hope among many people. That hope is something money cannot buy, something that words only can never achieve.”
About the SportAccord
SportAccord is the world’s premier and most exclusive annual event in the service of sport. Held in a different city each year, the not-for-profit summit takes place over six days and is focused on driving positive change internationally. It is dedicated to engaging and connecting international sports federations, rights holders, organising committees, cities, press and media, and organisations involved in the business of sport.
SportAccord is the only global
sports business event attended by all the international sports
federations and their stakeholders,
including: GAISF (Global Association of
International Sports Federations), ASOIF
(Association of Summer Olympic
International Federations), and
AIOWF (Association of International
Olympic Winter Sports Federations). The
SportAccord also receives the full support of the International Olympic Committee.
For more information visit: www.sportaccord.com