APAC destinations step up efforts in global events bids

Phuket and Busan highlight why they are ready to host the Specialised and World Expos.

Busan is bidding to host the World Expo in 2030.
Busan is bidding to host the World Expo in 2030. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/SeanPavonePhoto

Thailand and South Korea have reaffirmed their readiness to host major business events, as part of their respective bids to secure future Specialised Expos and World Expos.

Specialised Expos, officially known as ‘International Recognised Exhibitions’, are global events designed to respond to a precise challenge facing humanity. Thailand’s candidature is for a Specialised Expo to be held in Phuket between 20 March and 17 June 2028, under the theme ‘Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity’.

World Expos, the most recent of which was held in Dubai from October 2021 to March 2022 and the next one to be held in Osaka in 2025, are a global gathering of nations dedicated to finding solutions to pressing challenges of our time. Busan is bidding for the event and its World Expo 2030 theme is ‘Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future’.

As part of its bid, Busan recently unveiled an official roadmap for becoming the country's first official English-friendly city, while South Korea Prime Minister Han Duck-soo gave a bid presentation this week to the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the organisation in charge of overseeing the Expo. This was Busan’s third presentation related to the World Expo 2030 and was delivered in Paris, where the BIE is based.

Thailand too recently delivered its second country presentation as part of Phuket’s bid to host the next Specialised Expo 2027/2028, focusing on policy support, expo themes and the conceptual design of the expo site, including expected deliverables. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha highlighted how the Specialised Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand will serve as an international platform and help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Thailand is competing against four other countries/destinations, including Minnesota in the US, Serbia in Belgrade, Malaga in Spain and San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina, while South Korea is going up against Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Ukraine.

The final vote of 170 BIE member countries to select the host destination for Specialised Expos will take place in June 2023, while the decision for the World Expo will be announced in November 2023.