THAILAND Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) president, Akapol Sorasuchart, is leaving at the end of this month after nearly two-and-a-half-years in the role.
Akapol did not cite reasons when tendering his resignation on February 29. However, the local media had widely reported on his struggle against a plan by Thailand's Ministry of Tourism & Sport to take control of TCEB, which is currently under the Prime Minister's Office.
TCEB's 80 million baht (US$2.6 million) to 100 million baht annual budget was also reportedly cut by 20 million baht during last year's flood crisis, before being scrapped altogether.
Akapol's resignation is a blight on Thailand's bid to host the World Expo 2020 in Ayutthaya (TTG Asia e-Daily, December 8, 2011).
In interviews with the local media, Akapol admitted that his biggest concern was "the continuation of our work, especially the World Expo, as bids will be tendered in June 2013”.
Officials from the Bureau International des Expositions are scheduled to visit Thailand early next year to ascertain the destination's readiness to host the expo.