The 10-member delegation exited the terminal at Phuket International Airport jut after 2pm to be greeted by 600 local women in traditional Phuket-style dress performing traditional Thai dance.
Among the mass troupe were many elderly women of ages reaching up into their late 70s. One woman was 81 years old. Their ages did not diminish their performance or enthusiasm, and were thankful to be under a bright blue sky.
The delegation received ‘puang malai’ garlands from representatives of the troupe before boarding vehicles to leave the airport.
The delegation arrived in Phuket after meeting Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha this morning at the Purple Room of the Thai Khu Fa building at Government House before the PM joined the Cabinet meeting today.
Joining PM Prayut was Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, along with Atchaka Sibunruang, Chairman of the Board of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).
Also present were TCEB Director Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayudhya as well as Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew and Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO) President Rewat Areerob.
PM Prayut welcomed the delegation and expressed the potential and readiness of Thailand to host the Expo, as well as the government’s full commitment to support all aspects for Thailand to be entrusted to host the world-class exhibition, explained Traisulee Traisornkul, Deputy Spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, after the meeting.
The government is ready to support and create awareness among the people of being a good host to welcome the participants. Recently, it has been brought to discuss in the Cabinet resolutions and approved in the budget framework, the PM told the delegation, led by Alain Berger, delegate of France and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the BIE.
Mr Berger said that he was aware of Thailand’s stance and commitment in hosting the event. “This is considered part of the important activities in the selection of the host country or city,” he said.
“The BIE committee will assess the feasibility of the project proposed by Thailand, as well as the support from various sectors, including the government, local authorities and people through a survey of the availability of areas in Phuket, and prepare a report on the area and potential of Thailand for further consideration of the project.
“The BIE emphasises on presenting projects that will be able to spark a guideline to drive the local economy and extend it to the region effectively,” he added.
The delegation arrived in Bangkok on Sunday, and spent yesterday receiving a full day of presentations of Phuket’s bid to host the Expo in 2028.
In the first session yesterday, TCEB Director Mr Chiruit delivered his presentation “About Expo 2028, Phuket Thailand / Thailand as the Host Country”.
Danucha Pichayanan, Secretary-General of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), delivered his presentation on “Economic, Social & Political Environment of Thailand”.
Former NCPO spokesperson Yongyuth Mailarp delivered his presentation on “Thailand as Asia’s Medical & Wellness Hub”, while Phuket Governor Narong delivered his on “Phuket as the Host City”.
The second session focussed on the theme and subthemes to be promoted by Phuket hosting the event. Phuket officially entered its bid in Paris late last month under the theme “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity”. In this arena former Phuket Tourist Association President Bhummikitti Ruktaengam delivered his presentation on “Expo with Purposes”, ”Subthemes and their relation to global issues” and the Phuket Expo logo to be used.
The second session yesterday closed with a discussion of what pavilions are to be at the Expo if Phuket is selected.
Ms Traisulee this morning explained Thailand is one of five countries that have bid to host the World Specialised Expo in 2028. The other countries are Serbia, Spain, Argentina and the United States.
“Each country is required to present the country’s readiness data three times. The BIE will visit each venue twice to inspect the venue and will announce the selection results in June 2023,” she said.