Phuket Vice Governor Thanyawat Chanpinit said the province has a blueprint to build an exhibition hall to host international events with a capacity of 5,000.
But town planning rules prohibit building a hall larger than 6,000 square metres and higher than 23 metres.
“The city needs to amend the existing town planning regulations to allow this construction,” V/Gov Thanyawat told a seminar held at the yesterday (Sept 12).
The likely destination for the convention hall is Thalang District, it was explained. Mr Thanyawat said that he hoped it would be built in a few years and thus be able to bid for international events such as world expos.
Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup said the private sector, namely Central Group and Jungceylon, have shown interest in building a convention hall in the Patong area. The discussion with the companies took place over the course of a few years but was delayed by town planning rules, she explained.
Ms Chalermluck suggested the government speed up construction of the Patong tunnel project to ease traffic. Safe transport is needed to and from Patong, as the district has mountains on three sides, she said.
The government should improve mass transport from the airport to Patong and other western coast districts in Phuket, namely Karon, to facilitate large groups such as Mice travellers that require more than buses and vans, Ms Chalermluck added.
Speaking at the same seminar, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), said the agency will promote events in the province and focus on the social impact from Mice events in each area.
Phuket was chosen by the government as one of five key Mice cities, along with Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Pattaya and Bangkok. The province has ample facilities for Mice travellers, with 600 hotels offering 40,000 guest rooms, 220 convention rooms and 615 meeting rooms. The island also has 14 piers and four private marinas, he said.
The plan is to build stronger communities and develop cooperation between the public and private sectors. The TCEB has area-based teams to advise and create awareness about the Mice industry among locals.
Last year, more than 2 million visitors arrived in Phuket for Mice events, generating B19.5 billion in income, Mr Chiruit said.
Through cooperation with many officials and memers of the private sector, the TCEB expects to see 34.662mn MICE travelers visit Thailand, and generate B121bn in revenues, this year, he added.
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