The Nation



QSNCC enjoys bumper year despite domestic problems

Sakchai Pattarapreechakul, president of NCC Management and Development.

Sakchai Pattarapreechakul, president of NCC Management and Development.

National convention centre reports highest revenue since 2006 airport closure

Despite facing a domestic economic slowdown and political uncertainty, Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre's management has revealed that this year's business to date showed the highest revenue growth since Suvarnabhumi Airport's closure in 2006.

The newly opened airport was forced to shut down temporarily that year because of its occupation by anti-government protesters.

Sakchai Pattarapreechakul, president of NCC Management and Development, which operates the QSNCC, told The Nation that the Bangkok venue expected to see growth of 12-15 per cent in terms of international event numbers and a 20-per-cent surge in revenue in its current fiscal year.

Last year, the company witnessed only an 8-per-cent rise in event numbers.

The strong performance results from big international events that the venue had secured this year, namely the "16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES" in March, "Sugar Asia 2013" in May, "Worlddidac Asia 2013" in October, and the 11th "International Congress on Aids in Asia and the Pacific" and "Expo Turkey in Thailand" last month.

After conducting roadshows with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau in many potential markets, the venue has secured more key international conferences and exhibitions both on an annual and a biannual basis, Sakchai said.

"This will help our venue sustain its business in the future."

The QSNCC puts on international events involving a business-to-business (B2B) platform, with exhibitions its key focus.

The main potential markets in the future are Germany, Britain, Russia, India and China.

Sakchai said he had held discussions with five major trade-fair organisers in Germany, seeking to persuade them to clone some potential events in Bangkok to capitalise on Thailand's proximity to the emerging "CLMV" markets of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

In line with the benefits of reduced tariffs after the Asean Economic Community comes into effect in 2015, the manufacturing, automotive and agricultural sectors will be key economic boosters, he said.

For the domestic market, the head of the QNSCC said his venue anticipated strong bookings from existing clients who wished to increase the frequency of their events. Meanwhile, some older organisers have expressed an intention to bring their events back and hold them at the venue.

Seventy-five per cent of domestic events are consumer fairs, while the rest are B2B trade shows.

The venue wants to stage more B2B events, particularly whereby local enterprises can meet international traders, Sakchai said.

Additionally, the company expects to seal two or three deals to operate and manage meeting venues in the provinces next year.

Apart from the QSNCC in Bangkok, NCC Management and Development manages the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty the King's Accession to the Throne International Convention Centre at Prince of Songkla University in Hat Yai.

Despite uncertainties such as the economic downturn and political turbulence, the QSNCC's management is optimistic that this year's revenue will be right on track as the financial results are already reserved in the company's accounts.

However, Sakchai said he was concerned that if there were further political troubles affecting the confidence of international leisure and business tourists this year, particularly after Christmas Day, MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) business next year could suffer.

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