Present for the grand opening was Rawat Areerob, President of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAo, or OrBorJor), joined by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong and Phuket City Municipality Chief Administrative Office (Palad) Chalermporn Piyanarongroj.
Mr Chalermporn said that the seafood festivals, launched under the banner “Roi Rim Lay”, aimed to not only help vendors at the festival to make an income, but also farmers, producers, food business operators and other businesses.
“Anyone whose incomes have been affected by COVID economic situation,” he said.
The Roi Rim Lay festival at Saphan Hin will continue for the days, concluding tomorrow night (Feb 28), Mr Chalermporn said.
The festival has 170 stalls, mostly offering renowned local delicacies, but also including vendors offering a wide range of products, he added.
“There are local food products sold in Phuket, fresh and cooked seafood and agricultural products, as well as tourism-related products, all sold at cheap prices under the [Department of Interior Trade] Blue Flag project, which has joined the event,” Mr Chalermporn explained.
The festival also includes live music and entertainment, and on-stage performances by local students, he added.
Mr Rewat pointed out Phuket’s standing as a tourism destination, and its recognition by Unesco as a City of Gastronomy.
“This gives an opportunity to develop the economy and further investment from the food tourism business in the future,” he said.
“The spread of the COVID-19 virus has affected the economy of Phuket, the main source of income [in Phuket] is from tourism. Therefore, we must stimulate the economy in Phuket to recover after being affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.
“We sincerely hope that the first local food festival of Phuket, Roi Rim Lay, will help stimulate the economy, strengthen the foundation of the economy, and accelerate spending by people to stimulate purchasing power in the economy of Phuket, which will allow farmers, producers and entrepreneurs to earn more income from this event,” he said.
The Roi Rim Lay festival will also be held later in Patong and in Cherng Talay, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew announced at a launch event held earlier this week, also attended by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri.
The festival will be held at Patong Beach on Mar 19-21, and at Laguna Grove in Cherng Talay on Apr 10-12.