The Mall Group's plans for a 20-billion baht retail and lifestyle centre on Phuket from 2017 will include an 8000-seat conference and exhibition centre, Governor Maitree said he had been told.
Environmental concerns led to the axing of Phuket's 20-year-long bid for an international convention and exhibition centre by the Yingluck Shinawatra Government in 2011.
Planning for a centre was switched to Chiang Mai instead.
However, the governor said yesterday that the Mall Group's Blu Pearl Plaza project on 150 rai in central Kathu would provide the kind of facility that Phuket has always needed.
''This will be in support of high-end tourism and arrive on the island at a time when Phuket's infrastructure will be continuing to improve,'' Governor Maitree told Phuketwan.
Plans for the Blu Pearl Plaza also include a waterpark and a resort, as well as a large retail complex.
The concept of Phuket as a holiday and shopping destination within the Asean hub is likely to win the island new fans from the 10 nations that make up the regional trade zone.