Show DC, the newest shopping and entertainment complex in Bangkok, celebrated its grand opening yesterday (April 10) with more than 3,000 invited guests and shows by Thailand’s leading rock and dance artists including Bodyslam and Jetrin “J” Wattanasin.
“We believe that entertainment is the key element of tourism and our goal is for Show DC to be an international entertainment destination,” said Chayaditt Hutanuwatra, the main Thai shareholder and the chairman of both AEC Capitol and Show DC Corp.
“We looked at examples in several countries. In the US, Las Vegas went from desert to a city of casinos and is now a family destination. Singapore, which was formerly a financial centre, is now a lifestyle entertainment destination. South Korea learned that in the year of its release ‘Jurassic Park’ made more money than Hyundai's annual exports to the US and promptly set out to promote its TV series, fashion, films and cosmetics. Thailand is the centre of Asia. I recently went to Coldplay’s concert with Brian Marcar, managing director of Bec-Tero Entertainment, and was amazed that 70,000 people turned out to see four musicians! Thirty per cent of the crowd was foreign.
“Behind Show DC is Oasis Arena, which is also Show DC’s outdoor venue and Woody (Vuthithorn Milintachinda] has organised his annual S2O event there. He is anticipating between 60,000 and 70,000 people, half of them foreigners, so the market is there,” Chayaditt concluded to loud applause.
“Show DC is a one-stop shopping centre that connects to the airports. It is a new look for Thailand that I believe that there will be others coming soon. It’s good thing that we are pushing our tourism industry forward and so successfully. We have a beautiful culture, traditions and natural heritage to draw international tourists. Culture is the spirit of tourism. We still keep Thainess but also welcome international modernisation. I’m sure that Show DC will be one of landmarks for tourists from around the world,” added General Tanasak Patimapragon, deputy prime minister, who presided over the official opening ceremony, together with Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Kritsayapong Siri, permanent secretary of Ministry of Culture, and the Chinese, South Korean and Malaysian ambassadors to Thailand.
Pop opera band Fivera warmed up the crowd before the opening ceremony with a set that included “The Phantom of The Opera” before celebrities Kimberly Ann Voltemas, Prin “Mark” Suparat, Natapohn “Taew” Tameeruks, Warintorn “Great” Panhakarn, Louis Scott, Ramida “Noon” Prapatnobon, Phuphoom “Ken” Pongpanu and Korean stars, Kim Sung-Soo and Lee Seo-Jin posed on the red carpet.
Show DC, a joint venture between Thai and Malaysian entrepreneurs and costing Bt9.5 billion, stands on 43 rai with indoor space of 180,000 square metres given over to entertainment (55 per cent), eating (25 per cent) and shopping (20 per cent). Entertainment programmes will change regularly.
“We can organise 1,000 events a year and expect to have 10 million tourists coming here. We focus on convenience, comfort and safety for tourists. We have shuttle buses and a bus terminal between the airport and more than 30 hotels around this area. I would like Show DC to open the door to a new dimension of tourism. We would like Thailand to be a centre of the best entertainment tourism hub in Asia,” Chaiyaditt added.
Two live shows are currently being staged – “Ong Bak Live” and “Himmapan Avatar” – both created by Thailand’s top show professionals. Lotte Duty Free, Asia-Pacific’s Number 1 duty free store will launch in May.
The Songkran fun continues all this week and includes a show by South Korea’s hottest artists, including the world-famous Psy with his smash hit “Gangnam Style”, CNBlue, APink, AOA, as well as Thai superstars.