“The carnival will definitely go ahead, with B5 million budget allocated for the event,” Mayor Chalermluck told The Phuket News.
The carnival will be held in Patong from Nov 1-5, she added.
However, the full schedule of events and the live entertainment to be provided has yet to be confirmed, Mayor Chalermluck noted.
“We will know more by the end of this month,” she said.
“The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) will help us to upgrade Patong Carnival to be a more effective event with their support of about B500,000 to a B1mn,” she added.
Mayor Chalermluck assured that the COVID-19 protection measures will be in force at all aspects of the carnival, which range from a plethora of small food stalls along the streets and at traditional areas where live events are held, such as Loma Park.
“The event will be under disease-control measures such as social distancing and the requirement to wear face masks, as well as having alcohol gel sanitiser available and temperature checks of people taking part in or just attending the carnival,” she added.
There will be live music performances, Mayor Chalermluck also noted. The live music performers in years past have drawn thousands of people to Patong.
However, with the ban on international tourists from entering the country still in effect and the We Travel Together domestic tourism campaign underway, the carnival this year will be aimed at attracting Thai tourists, Mayor Chalermluck said.
“Mostly the artists performing will be Thai because we want to invite Thai tourists to join the carnival,” she added.
Likewise, much of the attractions to be highlighted will be good local food at cheap prices, she said.
“The general idea is that we will open spaces for hotels to show and sell the food, as well as local food vendors,” Mayor Chalermluck explained.
“Food stalls selling seafood and local Phuket dishes will be prominent at the carnival. The stalls will offer food at cheap prices as well as special dishes which are high class and excellent cuisine,” she said.
Mayor Chalermluck admitted that she expected fewer people to join the event this year, but held faith that the number of Thai visitors coming to Phuket to enjoy the carnival would be substantial.
“I have no doubt that domestic tourists will come to Phuket for the carnival, but the number of people joining the event will be less than in recent years as foreign tourists will not be able come to enjoy the carnival while enjoying their holiday here,” she said.
“I hope that the government will allow direct international flights to Phuket soon. I have talked about this with the government, but at this stage I have no idea when this will happen or which countries they will allow international tourists to arrive from,” Mayor Chalermluck said.
“The positive side of this is that having fewer visitors will make social distancing easier and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19,” she added.
“But when the government does allow international flights into Thailand, tourists will come to Patong, then the local economy will improve,” she said.