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Nai Harn beach, where swimmers bring their own umbrellas

Phuket Could Host World Beach Games in 2017, Says Minister

Monday, November 17, 2014
PHUKET: Thailand could be a candidate to host the first World Beach Games in 2017, according to Minister for Tourism and Sport, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.

She has been on Phuket where the Asian Beach Games are being held until November 23.

''Personally, I would like Thailand to raise their level from staging the Asian Beach Games to next host the World Beach Games," the minister told website insidethegames.biz after attending a medals presentation.

''It will be a good opportunity for Thailand to show its full potential to the world.''

Whether a country that had previously held the Asian Beach Games would be considered for the first World Beach Games could be an issue.

Several cities have already expressed interest, officials say, since a motion for the World Beach Games to go ahead was passed at last week's Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly in Bangkok.

The World Beach Games could be held as early as 2017. Backers say the concept is ideal for sports that with to showcase their appeal but so far fall short of becoming fully-fledged Olympic sports.

The World Beach Games would be positioned in the calendar without conflicting with the Olympic Games or football's World Cup. Games events are usually awarded to cities, not countries.

Given the facilities and the beaches, it would be difficult to imagine a world-class beach event in Thailand being held anywhere except Phuket.

The possibility of hosting an even larger event in three years could be the impetus to keep sunbeds and umbrellas from returning to the holiday island's most popular beaches, which look stunning without them.

According to the Games website: ''Safety will be a major concern to address if the nation is to host more major events, although security so far here at Phuket 2014 has been widely praised, with over 2000 police drafted in to provide additional protection, and with no breaches having been reported.''

Comments

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Lets see if we can cope with walking before running K Kobkarn. Not surprising the official website has been praising its self- they are hardly going to say otherwise!

Posted by Mister Ree on November 17, 2014 17:39

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I doubt Phuket has the infrastructure to handle the numbers for a World Games. From all the reports I have read, it is creaking at the seams with the Asian Games; though by all accounts seems fairly successful.

Posted by Logic on November 17, 2014 17:40

Editor Comment:

No point in being negative about positives, Logic. Provided the beaches are kept looking the way they should look, Phuket has a future. No reason why it couldn't cope with a World Beach Games, with some events held in Phang Nga and Krabi. Timing during the year is probably the key to which beach city wins.

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This "can be" a real possibility...but Phuket has a long long way to go in order to bring itself up to par to be recognised....and I think we all know what the list of things comprises of so no need to to be redundant now

Posted by sky on November 17, 2014 18:04

Editor Comment:

Goodness, almost positive, sky. Almost.

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I wish there would be another thai minister working with same energy on the boat refugees/slavery as this Sports minister does on her present and future Games.

Posted by Kurt on November 17, 2014 19:52

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May be it will bring public transportation network as a part of investment?

Posted by Sue on November 17, 2014 20:05

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Mr Sue, I think the minister for Tourisme and Sports will not contribute her Asian Games earning to Phuket public transport infrastructure. Perhaps she gives the Phuket Governor a little bit money for his filling up Phuket road potholes before the games started. By the way, will Phuket still have this 2000 police after the games are over? Many times Phuket authorities were complaining (long before the Games), there are not enough police officers, as Patong hospital has not enough specialized doctors.

Posted by Kurt on November 17, 2014 20:30

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@Kurt,

I meant that in the case Phuket is approved as a destination of World Beach Games, the government in Bangkok can approve some budget for infrastructure improvement.
That could be also for public transport.

To finance this investment, most probably, Thailand will have to increase its external debt, by issuing bonds. Overall level of state debt is still low, so it is not difficult to get financing for such investment, if only the investment is useful and its budget is reasonable.

Posted by Sue on November 17, 2014 22:55

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More PR fluff from the authorities... plenty to learn from the ABG so far without dreaming. Let's wait for the ABG to be over and do an honest evaluation (not PR statements). What would be really nice, and a sign of good faith from the Govt, would to be transparent on the cost/ expense of the Games afterwards.

When Phuket first won the games, the budget was announced as 500m THB which soon was increase to 1 billion THB. In the name of a corrupt free society, I'd love to see some accountability to the public on the expense.

Posted by Duncan on November 18, 2014 08:28

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It is with deep regret that various mayors on Phuket announced today that they have killed any chance of this ever happening.
In a statement read out in the deead of night they stated, "We have ordered weapon wielding soldiers to remove all tourists from Phuket's beaches with a view to concreting them over and flogging off the sand."
Or they may as well have because the return of the sunbeds and the refusal of the authorities to control jet skies has killed this proposal.

Posted by Arthur on November 29, 2014 13:41


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