SIAM PIWAT, the operator of Siam Center, Siam Discovery, and Siam Paragon shopping centres, yesterday announced its readiness for the official opening of Iconsiam - its Bt54-billion masterpiece mall designed to make Thailand a true shopping destination on the global map.
Scheduled to open on November 9, the new shopping complex occuping 750,000 square metres in gross floor area on a 55-rai plot alongside the Chao Phraya River on Charoen Nakhon Road, reflects the company’s confidence in the economic potential of Thailand and a sustainable growth in the number of foreign tourists, especially quality travellers, into the country.
Chadatip Chutrakul, chief executive officer of Siam Piwat, and a director of Iconsiam, said she and other entrepreneurs have always believed in the future of the Thai economy which has been on an upward trend over the past four to five years. The current government has solved many problems and it has also created many mega-infrastructure projects to liven the economy.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has been moving on the right track to promote quality travellers into the country. We have seen more tourists in our shopping malls, even in the low season period. The ratio of foreign tourists to our overall shoppers has increased significantly from 35 per cent to 38 per cent in September alone. With this statistic, we can say that there is no low-tourist season in Bangkok anymore,” said Chadatip, adding that the value of spending per head per visit by foreign tourists has also increased by 13 per cent from Bt4,300 to about Bt6,000.
She said a total of 250,000 shoppers a day visit the company’s three shopping malls, Siam Center, Siam Discovery Centre, and Siam Paragon.
“For Iconsiam, we expect about 150,000 visitors daily – 70 per cent Thais living in Thon Buri and inner Bangkok, and 30 per cent foreign tourists. About 40 per cent of foreign visitors will be Asian, of which 20 per cent will be from China, while visitors from Australia, Europe and USA make up the balance ,” said Chadatip, adding that with a total population of about 2.4 million people, the Thonburi district shows great growth potential driven by private investments, especially in property such as housing estates and hotels, as well as the government’s investment in transportation projects. There will be more than 10 Skytrain routes moving from Bangkok to Thonburi.
Chadatip said Siam Piwat has set aside a Bt1-billion budget to celebrate the opening of Iconsiam, of which 70 per cent will be spent on media and events during the first three days of the opening.
“About 90 per cent of anchors and all tenant stores are ready for the opening. Only two anchors – River Museum Bangkok and True Icon Hall, are scheduled to open in July next year,” she said.