Posted Date: Tuesday, 5-Mar-2013
BANGKOK- While Bangkok is one of Southeast Asia’s favourite venues for meetings, conferences and exhibition, the difficulty to access Bangkok’s largest conference centres remain a mystery. From the three large conference and exhibition facilities located in town – Queen Sirikit International Convention Centre, BITEC and IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, only the first one benefits from a direct MRT connection.
The weirdest is what is going around BITEC (Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre). The centre is located along the Chonburi-Bangna tollway which goes direct from Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi International Airport as well as to Pattaya. Two years ago, a skytrain station was opened a few hundred meters away from the convention centre.
BITEC used the opportunity to announce building a skywalk directly to the skytrain. By early February, the “skywalk” – a covered corridor linking the various exhibition halls to the train station- was already existing… but still not completed!! There is still no way to exit the corridor which means to BITEC delegates tempted to go to the skytrain that they will have to walk along a heavily frequented highway!
IMPACT is today Thailand’s largest venue for conventions, exhibitions and a range of various events such as concerts. Located in Northern Bangkok, not to far from Rangsit Road and the old Don Mueang International Airport, the facility is only accessible by car through tollways. It generally means heavy traffic jam during rush hours without any credible alternative.
Muang Thong Thani is waiting impatiently that a planned MRT line finally arrives around the area. IMPACT management submitted already a proposal to extend the planned Pink Line MRT extension to Muang Thong Thani on Chaeng Wattana road, and for the establishment of a train maintenance facility in the area.
With the planned maintenance facility has been slated for construction on a 30-rai plot with an investment of 1.5 billion baht. The building could potentially be a joint venture between the MRTA and Bangkok Land, which holds the deed to the plot. It is then estimated that the extension of the future Pink Line to Muang Thong Thani would generate an additional 200,000 commuters per day.
However, financing the extension still remains a problem despite the fact that IMPACT Management already indicated its willingness to help to finance. Unfortunately, it seems that both BITEC and IMPACT Muang Thong Thani suffer from the same illness: the difficulty in Thailand’s political/business circles to look at the public's interests before their own interest…