Chadatip Chutrakul (left), director of Iconsiam Co, and Suphachai Chearavanont, chief executive of True Corporation Plc, mark their collaboration to build True Iconsiam Hall. SOMCHAI POOMLARD
Iconsiam Co will spend 2 billion baht to build a world-class exhibition hall at its Iconsiam shopping and residential project on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Director Chadatip Chutrakul said it will start building its True Iconsiam Hall next year, with a schedule to open for service in the first quarter of 2018.
True Corporation Plc will provide the budget for technology installation.
As a new magnet at Iconsiam, True Iconsiam Hall will have 12,000 square metres of space and a capacity of 3,000 seats.
The Iconsiam project, jointly developed by Siam Piwat Co, CP Group and Magnolia Quality Development Corporation, is situated on Charoen Nakhon Road. It will become a new landmark of Bangkok, surrounded by 3-5-star hotels with more than 10,000 rooms.
The luxury complex worth 54 billion baht will comprise Takashimaya department store, a retail plaza, luxury residential condominiums, a museum, an amusement park and a sports complex.
Mrs Chadatip said True Iconsiam Hall will be created to emphasise Iconsiam's commitment to give Thailand an important position on the world stage and elevate the standard of Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) and showbiz businesses in Thailand.
"We want to make Bangkok and Thailand a hub for international conferences and show performances – a fully integrated one with the highest potential in Asia," she added.
Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said Mice is a service sector that brings in a lot of quality tourists and generates enormous revenue for the country.
It also has a major role in income distribution to related sectors such as hotels, restaurants, conferences and exhibitions. Foreign travellers for Mice activities in Thailand spend 2-3 times more than general tourists. Thailand's Mice business was worth 100 billion baht last year from 1 million international visitors.
True Iconsiam Hall will provide the latest innovations and technology including a retractable seating system -- a first in Thailand -- where seats are automatically folded away to suit all ranges of venue requirements and save time for event arrangements.
An acoustic tri-wall panel system, a first in Southeast Asia, will have automatically adjustable wall panels and ceiling panels in three types. It will be equipped with an aesthetic sound-absorbing system to accommodate all types of performances and international conferences.
Suphachai Chearavanont, chief executive of True Corporation, said True Iconsiam Hall will open a new dimension for the most advanced world-class centres for international conferences and exhibitions.
"We are confident that True Iconsiam Hall will be able to attract Mice exhibitors and tourists from around the world in order to stimulate revenue for the country," he said.
It will drive the economy in line with the government's policy to synergise all stakeholders to make Thailand a top Mice destination in the region and the world.
It will also reflect the potential of Thailand to be a hub of regional tourism, helping drive the kingdom to be an outstanding country in Asia in hosting all kinds of world-class events.