Getting to Bangkok

Thailand is located in the center of South-East Asia, with its capital Bangkok an important aviation hub. Bangkok’s modern Suvarnabhumi International Airport is one of the world’s top airports, welcoming more than 45 million passengers annually. It is served by at least 80 international airlines linking 170 cities around the globe.


  • Visitors from 58 countries and Hong Kong SAR are automatically granted permission to stay for 30 days in the country.
  • Visitors from an additional 19 countries can apply for a “Visa on Arrival” at the Immigration Hall in all Thai international airports and border checkpoints.
  • For citizens of countries not covered by the above, visas can be obtained from the nearest Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate.

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), in conjunction with the related Thai government agencies will provide visa assistance and fast lane immigration clearance at all immigration checkpoints. For more information, visit

Getting around Bangkok

The BTS Skytrain and MRT Underground offer safe and convenient travel throughout the city. There is also a major bus network crisscrossing the city, a river taxi on the Chao Phraya River as well as metered taxis.

Getting to downtown Bangkok is also quite easy from the airport, as there is a selection of transport including limousine, mini-van, coach or the Airport Rail Link.

For more information,visit


Bangkok offers a wide variety of accommodation with over 70,000 hotel rooms ranging from 2-star to 6-star hotels to suit the diverse needs of delegates. There is a plentiful choice of satellite hotels along the BTS SkyTrain, within close proximity of BITEC.

IDF will provide housing services through a professional housing bureau at no charge to delegates.

Registration for the IDF Congress 2021 will open in January 2021. The registration rate scheme with attractive early rates and discounted group rates will be published here during the course of 2020.

The IDF Congress strives to provide high quality education and access to knowledge to all and is particularly committed to reach out to those with limited resources and from emerging countries:

Healthcare professionals

IDF offers a reduced rate for all professionals in the healthcare sector.

Student rate & World Bank countries

IDF also offers a heavily subsidized rate for students and delegates from low income economies as per World Bank classification.

IDF members at the IDF Congress

IDF is an umbrella organization of over 240 national diabetes associations in 168 countries and territories. IDF supports representatives from its Members to attend the congress and showcase their activities in the Global Village.

IDF is a non-profit organization. All funds received through registration are invested in diabetes projects to enhance the lives of people living with diabetes worldwide.

Buy the IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th Edition 2019 at the IDF Congress 2019 in Busan, Korea

atlas 9e cover 250px


The next IDF Congress will take place in Bangkok, Thailand on 6-9 December 2021.

IDF is excited to bring this event to the ASEAN community, comprising of over 600 million people in 10 countries. Diabetes is causing an unprecedented human and economic toll on the region and there is a lot of room for development when it comes to the standard of diabetes care provided. Thailand is a well-suited destination for the IDF Congress. With a rich cultural heritage, the country offers an excellent meeting venue and facilities and legendary hospitality and friendliness.

We look forward to welcoming the global diabetes community in Bangkok to share knowledge and expertise and shape the future of diabetes.

The IDF Congress 2021 is supported by the following local affiliations & organisations:

  • The Royal College of Physicians of Thailand
  • The Endocrine Society of Thailand
  • Thai Association of Diabetes Educators
  • Diabetes Nurses Society Of Thailand
  • Ministry of Public Health
  • The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
  • Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau
  • Thai Airways International
  • Thai Hotels Association

Key dates

April 2020: Call for Topics
2 January 2021: Registration opens
3 February to 17 April 2021: Abstract submission
June 2021: Scientific programme online


The IDF 2021 Congress will take place at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC).

Located in the heart of Bangkok and only 15 minutes from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, BITEC offers several large scale, multi-purpose event halls and comprehensive exhibition services. BITEC has successfully hosted a variety of international conventions and welcomed numerous delegates from around the world. With a total event space of 70,000 sq.m., the purpose-built facility addresses the needs of convention organisers and delegates for easy accessibility, quality and professional services. The column-free venue accommodates up to 40,000 delegates within fully flexible spaces that include 10 expansive exhibition halls, 6 grand convention halls and 28 breakout meeting rooms.

What is World Sight Day

World Sight Day (WSD) is an international day of awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of eye health. World Sight Day highlights the fact that more than 75% of all blindness and moderate to severe visual impairment (MSVI) is avoidable. This year World Sight Day falls on 10 October 2019 with the theme ‘Vision First’.

Why is World Sight Day important for the diabetes community

  • Every person with diabetes is at risk of going blind. Around a third of people with diabetes develop some form of eye health complication, which if left untreated can have devastating and wide ranging social and economic impacts on them, their families and communities.
  • Currently 145 million people have diabetic retinopathy (DR) and 45 million have vision threatening DR. By 2040, it is estimated that 224 million people will have DR and 70 million will have vision-threatening DR.
  • Almost all vision impairment and blindness from diabetes-related eye disease can be prevented through effective diabetes management, early detection of eye problems through regular eye exams, and timely treatment.
  • However, diabetes-related eye health is frequently absent from mainstream primary diabetes care and left to eye health specialists. Limited awareness that diabetes can cause vision impairment and irreversible blindness, combined with financial and geographical barriers to accessing the required eye health services mean that many people with diabetes do not have adequate access to vital sight-saving services.

What action is needed

The scale of this challenge means we need strong, innovative action and improved collaboration across the health system to bring eye health to the frontline of diabetes care.

We need:

  • The integration of eye health within routine diabetes care by primary health care providers
  • Improved collaboration across the diabetes and eye health sectors
  • Action to foster and support patient-centred care approaches for diabetic eye health.

What you can do about it

This World Sight Day you can call for urgent action from governments, medical associations, service providers and patient organisations to address the growing burden of diabetic eye disease.

You can advocate to practitioners, policy and law makers in three effective ways:

  1. Circulate widely the joint declaration “Strengthening health systems to manage diabetic eye disease: Integrated care for diabetes and eye health” issued by IDF, the International Council of Ophthalmology, the World Council of Optometry and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
  2. Write a letter to your Minister of Health/Foreign Affairs/Finance/Development to discuss the need to integrate care for diabetes and eye health. Use our template letter (Word) to encourage governments to take action in response to the 2019 UN High Level Meeting on Universal Health Care.
  3. Let your voice be heard on social media calling for integrated care for diabetes and eye health using the hashtags #WorldSightDay #WSD2019 and #VisionFirst. 
  4. Supporting Resources

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