The delegation, led by Committee Deputy President Chumnoom Ardwong, was welcomed to Phuket Provincial Hall by Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana and a host of other local officials and business operators.
“We are impressed with the organisation of Phuket Vegetarian Festival and the coordination between government officers and the private sector,” Mr Chumnoom said.
“Phuket is the second-most income-generating province in Thailand, so to develop tourism there are two most important issues to consider: the capacity to support the area, and the sustainability of the development,” he added.
Tourism of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office Director Kanokkittika Kritwutikon said that statistics from from the Phuket Provincial Office of Tourism and Sports showed that 9,848,246 tourists visited Phuket from January to August this year.
Only 20% of those were Thai, she said.
“The biggest number of tourists was from China, about 3 million people. Tourists from Russia made the secondmost with about 900,000 tourists, followed by German tourists with about 600,000 (visitors),” she said.
“Recently there have been a lot of Indian tourists coming to Phuket because there are more direct flights from New Deli, Mumbai, and Bengaluru,” Ms Kanokkittika added.
Phuket Chamber of Commerce President Thanusak Phungdet along with other representatives at the meeting today called on the committee to consider the options of building a convention centre in Phuket to support the development of the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) tourism segment.
“We want the government to support Phuket to be sports tourism city, and to build a big convention hall to be available for future international meetings,” Mr Thanusak said.
“Additionally, we also want the government to promote more flights from India, which is currently still obstructed by government regulations,” he added,
“If the government can do these things, it will help generate a lot more income for Phuket and Thailand,” Mr Thanusak pointed out.