Phuket’s Bid To Host Specialized Expo Fails, Belgrade Victorious

On Wednesday, following four stages of voting by member countries, the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) awarded the hosting of the Specialised Expo 2027-2028 to Belgrade, Serbia, leaving Phuket’s bid unsuccessful.

The event had been on Phuket’s planning agenda since 2020, with high hopes it would serve as a significant economic stimulant, projected to draw 7 million attendees and generate a revenue of 50 billion baht over a span of three months.

The team representing Thailand’s bid put forward Phuket as the event locale, planning events and exhibitions that would highlight the theme “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity”.

Nevertheless, Belgrade emerged as the triumphant host, securing the opportunity to showcase its exhibition titled “Play for Humanity: Sport and Music for All.” This captivating event is set to captivate audiences from May 15 to August 15, 2027.

The decision was made on Wednesday by representatives of the qualified BIE member nations who participated in a confidential electronic vote.

Since none of the candidates secured the required two-thirds majority in the initial three rounds, Serbia and Spain proceeded to a final round, where a simple majority was all that was needed to secure selection.

In the inaugural round, Thailand garnered 16 votes, coming in fourth in a competition of five nations, which included the United States, Serbia, Spain, and Argentina.

Thailand exited the competition in the second round after coming in fourth again, while the US was ousted in the third round. The final round saw Serbia and Spain contending, with Serbia taking the victory by a margin of 74 votes to 53.