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A conference centre complex would boost Phuket sport, too

Phuket Wins Two Billion Baht for 'Super Centre'

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Phuketwan News Analysis

THE NATIONAL Government has approved the funding of two bilion baht for Phuket's international conference centre and sports complex, Anchalee Wanichthepphabutr, a deputy secretary to the prime minister, said yesterday.

She said the centre would go ahead on 150 rai of land at Tachatchai, in the island's north. Another 150 rai would give the centre properly landscaped surroundings, she said.

Khun Anchalee, a Phuket resident and a former orborjor island administration president, said the conference centre would match high international standards.

It would allow Phuket for the first time to appeal to a large new tourism marketing segment, as well as the MICE market.

Talks were underway with National Parks authorities to try to enlarge the proposed site, she said.

Funding for the project is expected to officially pass from the Treasury to the Ministry of the Interior with the new budget from October 1.

It is not yet clear how long the impact studies will take and whether any of many designs put forward over the years is favored.

Various plans for a conference centre have been suggested over two decades.

For the first time, a vision for the future of Phuket as a conference drawcard and a sporting mecca appears to have the potential to be realised.

It has been said that the first phase of a centre could be operating within three years. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is one of several government departments with a keen interest in the project.

A land-based concept appears to have finally won out over some far-fetched and wastefully expensive proposals that envisaged a centre and resort complex being erected over water off Saphan Hin in Phuket City.

Placing the centre to the island's north recognises the sense in not forcing more traffic onto the roads heading south from the airport.

Development of Phuket's south has been steadily giving way to expansion in the north, the natural growth sequence.

The concept of a ''greater Phuket'' that extends along the coast of Phang Nga, to the island's north, is being enthusiastically promoted by property developers.

With the expansion of Phuket's existing airport having a limit of 12.5 million passenger flights, the prospects of a new international airport being established in Phang Nga become more likely.

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Maybe Khun Anchalee should seek the Governor's help in getting permission from the National Parks authority for land use. Legal obstacles don't seem to get in the Governor's way...

Posted by Duncan on September 2, 2009 12:02


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