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Exhibition World | News THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW. EXHIBITION- WORLD. NET| May 2010| 5 approved a land deal which gave the CC corporation control over a 2.8 square- kilometre plot of land in the city centre. The corporation hopes to expand indoor venue space by almost 28,000sqm, as well as build a 500- room hotel on the land, and aims to complete the project by 2015. Organisers are considering moving Comic- Con to larger facilities in Los Angeles or Anaheim. The pop- culture event attracts around 126,000 visitors and results in millions of dollars of tourist spending in the city. USA - San Diego Convention Centre came a step closer to its proposed US$ 753m expansion project, a development which it hopes will help it to retain the popular comic- book convention Comic- Con. The San Diego Port Commission unanimously San Diego CC $ 753m expansion land deal RUSSIA - The main shareholder in the ExpoForum US$ 1bn project to build a new convention and exhibition centre complex in St Petersburg, Gazenergoprombank Development, has bought 25 per cent of its biggest city competitor, Lenexpo. Lenexpo, currently the only international trade fair exhibition complex in the city, has nine exhibition pavilions over 40,000sqm; 63,000sqm of outdoor exhibition space; a congress hall that seats 2,800 people, and a variety of conference halls. ExpoForum claims to remain committed to its new centre project near to Pulkovo Airport but the companies now say they will plan their strategies together. " The deal allows Lenexpo and ExpoForum to become partners instead of competitors," ExpoForum tells EW. ExpoForum buys 25% of competitor Lenexpo GERMANY - Organisers were forced to take emergency action after the 2010 edition of the international Bauma construction trade fair opened with empty stands, a result of travel disruption caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland. Organiser Messe Munich International hired and trained additional personnel for the start of the fair, in an attempt Bauma 2010 takes emergency measures to help field enquiries from visitors at unoccupied stands. The 555,000sqm event at Messe Munich features construction machinery, vehicles and equipment, and is arguably the largest international event of its kind. However, it opened with empty stands as flights into Munich airport were cancelled due to the threat airborne volcanic ash poses to jet engines. THAILAND- Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said tourism may be " decimated" as a result of the wave of clashes between the government and anti- government protestors. The Thai government confirmed the army was prepared to use live rounds against ' red- shirt' protestors, and hotels located around the Ratchaprasong intersection were reported to have closed their doors until the threat of violence subsided. " All are in bad shape as there are no tourists coming to the country," said president of the Thai Hotels Association Prakit Chinamourphong last month. Hotels reported to have closed included the Grand Hyatt Thailand tourism ' decimated' BIH - Serbian and Bosnian economic ministers signed an interstate tourism agreement at the 2010 International Economy Fair in Mostar, despite reports of a failed exchange between their presidents at the same event. Serbia's economy minister Mladan Dinkic and Bosnia and Herzegovina's foreign trade and economy minister, Mladen Zirojevic, signed the Serbia and Bosnia in trade show agreement Erawan, Holiday Inn and Centara Grand, while there were reports that occupancy in the Holiday Inn Bangkok sank as low as two per cent. The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau announced the latest bout of anti- government rallies in the Thai capital will cost Thailand's events industry close to 800m baht ( US$ 21m). agreement at the event, which is aimed at boosting co-operation between the two states' respective tourism sectors. Dinkic used the event to propose joint sessions of the Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian governments be held every three months, with a view to improving co- operation and economic strengthening of the three countries.