Joining Governor Phakaphong on Friday (Oct 18) was Vice Governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai, Phuket Provincial Office Chief Thalerngsak Nuchprahan and other officials.
The two sites inspected were both in Moo 5, Baan Tha Chatchai, Mai Khao, at the very northern reaches of Phuket near the bridges off the island.
The land earmarked for an “international convention hall” measures in 141 rai 2 ngan and 63.7 square wah, or 56 acres, offering a total of 226,654.8 square metres on which to build the centre.
The site marked for the sports complex measures 238 rai 1 ngan 25 square wah, or 94.22 acres, offering 381,300sqm for the complex.
During the visit Governor Phakaphong examined the sites for appropriateness of each location and took photos to help support a formal request for the budget to build both centres, noted a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department of Thailand.
Of note, the northern reaches of Phuket have long been a target site for a “Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC)”, with quick access to the airport and the bridges on and off the island. The concept was first raised nearly 20 years ago, but fell into disfavour during the reign of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
A national government loan from the World Bank deployed under the “Thai Khem Kaeng” fiscal stimulus policy to fund development projects later saw the funds for the Phuket ICEC redirected to build a convention centre in Chiang Mai.
Phuket MP at the time Democrat Anchalee Tephabutra directly challenged Yingluck Shinawatra during parliamentary question time over the reallocation of the funds. Thaksin’s younger sister refused to answer the question on public record.
Meanwhiel, the northern end of the island has become a haven for major sports events, including the annual Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run, Half Marathon held yesterday (Oct 20). (See story here.)