The move is part of a plan to help broaden Phuket’s economic base and reduce the island’s overdependence on destination tourism, Governor Narong explained yesterday (Nov 3).
The proposal to host the major events is part of a plan for the national government to support development in three key industries: sports; health and wellness; and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions).
The plan, comprising 18 separate projects, will be presented to the mobile Cabinet meeting to be held in Krabi on Nov 15-16, he said.
“Phuket has faced serious problems from the impact of the COVID-19 situation, with all sectors [of the community] suffering harshly because Phuket’s main economic base is a monolithic structure. The main income for the island is from tourism and services, up to 95% of our economy,” Governor Narong said.
“Therefore, the economy must be built and adjusted to have at least 10 more pillars to support it in case any one pillar is affected,” he added.
The proposal to host the 25th SEA Games in 2025 is aimed to benefit the entire Andaman region, Governor Narong explained.
“Hosting it will be an important part of stimulating the economy, and before the competition event there will be city improvements to support the image of Thailand as the host,” he said.
The bid for Phuket to host the World Specialized Expo 2028 would be a combined effort with the TCEB (Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau), Governor Narong continued.
The global health-related event would bring many visitors to the region and place Thailand centre stage in the international community for hosting international events, he said.
The proposal to host World Specialized Expo 2028 has been a long time coming. The plan to bid for the global wellness event was approved by Deputy Minister of Public Health Sathit Pitutecha on Sept 1.
Rangsiman Kingkaew, Vice President of Strategic Tourism at the Phuket Tourism Association, last month noted, “If Phuket province is selected as the host, that could lead to investment of up to B4 billion, and with further economic benefits Thailand worth more than B45bn.”
That sentiment was also expressed by TCEB President Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya late last month, who confirmed that the TCEB plans to propose to the Cabinet within November its bid for three mega international events under a B10bn budget to support Thailand’s economic recovery.
“Mega events attracting millions of visitors are crucial to move the national economy forward,” Mr Chiruit said.
The event is expected to draw 5-6 million visitors during the off-peak season, aiming to contribute B49.2bn to the economy,” he noted.
Governor Narong yesterday also confirmed that plans to overhaul Phuket’s public health system would also be presented to the mobile Cabinet meeting.
“The third issue is the health issue of the COVID-19 situation. It was found that Phuket still has disparities in public health. Therefore, there is a need to raise the level of public health at all three levels, namely primary, secondary and tertiary, for further development,” he said.
“A blueprint has been prepared for the master plan to be presented at this meeting of the Cabinet,” Governor Narong concluded.