The news was delivered at an event held at Limelight Avenue Phuket shopping mall in Phuket Town, often selected by local government officials to hold press conferences and make public announcements.
In announcing the winner of the Phuket Mascot Design competition, Governor Phakaphong was joined by Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) Acting Chief Watcharin Patomwattanapong, President of the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) Bhummikitti Ruktaengam,
Tourism and Sports Phuket Provincial Office Chief Sirawee Waloh and Tourism of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office Deputy Director Montri Manator.
Gov Phakaphong explained that the contest was by the “Phuket Government” and the Phuket Tourist Association.
“The mascot is be the icon of Phuket to express the local uniqueness to world’s eyes,” he said, according to a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department.
The competition was open from July 22 to Aug 25, with over 200 designed works from every part of the country submitted for consideration, he said.
“On Aug 30, a committee comprising PTA members sand relevant officials chose the 10 finalists, and on Sept 14 at Sino House Phuket Hotel the creators of those works were interviewed by the committee,” he added.
The entries by the 10 finalists were displayed at the first floor of the Limelight mall from last Thursday through yesterday (Sept 13-15).
Top prize of B100,000 went to Jin Sathapornsathitsuk for “Nong Joong”, a deep-blue infant spiny lobster.
The B20,000 prize for second place, or “first runner-up”, went to Phanatrada Sae-ung her “Nong Ang Lai”, a cartoon character of a 12-year-old girl in a traditional Chinese qipao with a yanut Phuket pineapple as her head.
Nong Ang Lai also received the “Popular Vote” award, for which Ms Phanatrada received a Bangkok-Phuket round-trip flight by Bangkok Airways, including and a two-night room package at Baba House Hotel in Phuket Town.
The B10,000 prize for third place, or “second runner-up”, went to Thani Muennoot for his “Andaman Boy” cartoon character of a light-blue boy dragon with corals as his horns.
The creators of the remaining seven entries were given certificates for their efforts.
Mr Jin explained in submitting Nong Joong for consideration that Nong Joong is a little naughty spiny lobster. He likes to explore new things, foods, places and beautiful views. He has a sea urchin as friend named “Uni”. Uni has problem with pronouncing the word “Goong” (shrimp/lobster in Thai), and he pronounces “Joong” instead. So other people also call him “Nong Joong”.
“Phuket is a multicultural province, so the mascot should not be identified as any particular race. Phuket has a good reputation for seafood. I chose a spiny lobster because it has a unique shape and can easily be developed in the future.
“Food has never been used as mascot. I chose the child to represent their enthusiasm and excitement in learning new things. I designed Nong Joong to be cute by simplifying the details of the lobster and using an attractive color,” Mr Jin said.
“After this, Nong Joong will be an important representative to welcome guests and tourists who come to experience things in Phuket,” Gov Phakaphaong said.
The report of the prize-giving yesterday made no references to any previous mascots created for Phuket, such as the cutesie dragon “Hai Leng” created for the 28th National Youth Games held in Phuket in 2012.
Hai Leng was chosen after the previous winner selected, a starfish -headed man created by was ousted due to local public reaction. (See story here.)