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Phuket has many factors working to its advantage: beaches are one

Phuket 'First Choice' for New Asean Summit

Friday, April 17, 2009
PHUKET is the front-running candidate for the rescheduled Asean Plus Six summit, according to the organisation's Secretary General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan.

Dr Surin said today that he will talk to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva this evening and recommend that the island be the place for the important gathering of regional leaders.

The Governor of Phuket, Wichai Praisa-Ngob, has backed the island and sees the Asean summit as a great boost for the local tourism industry.

Phuket was originally going to hold the summit but island resorts proved to be too popular over the Songkran-Easter break.

By the time officials came to decide, the island's prime resorts had been booked by holidaymakers to levels that meant there was no space for such a large-scale summit.

The rest, as they say, is history: the Asean Plus Six, already postponed after Bangkok's airports were invaded last November, moved to Pattaya, and so did the red shirts.

Last weekend they invaded the Pattaya resort where the summit was due to take place, and the leaders of 16 nations were soon heading for home.

Dr Surin told the media this afternoon that the shooting of yellow shirt leader Sondhi Limthongkul today in Bangkok was also a consideration that pointed towards Phuket as the most secure destination.

Phuketwan has advocated Phuket for the summit because it is an island, with one bridge on and one bridge off, and a checkpoint where buses and other vehicles all need to pass.

There are certainly some other practical considerations.

The island, deprived of adequate government funding for years, has no large conference centre, even though the benefits of such a development are obvious.

Given the lead time of two to three months before the region's leaders can fit another gathering into busy agendas, it should be possible to come up with a solution to the issue of meeting facilities.

One concern last time was spreading the many delegations over many resorts, which would have been the only was the summit could have been held then on Phuket.

In the low season in two or three months time, it should be possible to block-book plenty of accommodation at one or two leading resorts.

The rest is relatively simple.

As the Governor said today, the summit would be a great boost to Phuket in the low season and an opportunity that the island should be grateful to take up if all goes well in the decision-making process from here.

The Prime Minister has had pleasant things to say about Phuket after previous visits, which probably should see the island emerge with the summit.

A decision is expected shortly.

Phuket's Turn Next for the Asean Summit?
Analysis Pattaya and Bangkok have so far been homes to an Asean Plus Six gathering that has yet to happen. Island Phuket remains the main chance for a successful summit.
Phuket's Turn Next for the Asean Summit?

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Latest Travel warnings about Thailand from a brace of nations fail to take account of direct flights and the vast geographical and political differences between Bangkok and Phuket.
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Photo Album Phuket PAD was getting ready today for a concert and rally that looks more and more likely to become a tribute to wounded leader Sondhi Limthongkul.
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Sondhi Shot: Alarm over Phuket PAD Concert
Latest The shooting of the PAD's best known yellow shirt leader leaves organisers with security concerns over a large PAD concert planned for Saturday night on Phuket
Sondhi Shot: Alarm over Phuket PAD Concert

Red Shirts Retreat: Bangkok Protest Abandoned
Latest The traditional Songkran Family Day holiday saw red shirts formally abandon their 18 day Bangkok occupation, halting clashes with troops and residents.
Red Shirts Retreat: Bangkok Protest Abandoned

Bangkok Two 'Killed by Red Shirts'
Update Troops and red shirts skirmished on Bangkok streets before dawn. About 9.40pm, one man was shot dead, first fatality of the street confrontation.
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Inspiring Island: What the PM Said About Phuket
PM on Phuket Thirteen nations reached agreement on Phuket today on a special fund designed to prevent a financial downturn in the region. China, Korea and Japan will provide most support.
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PM To Visit Phuket for Asean Education Summit
Repeat visitors are the lifeblood of Phuket's tourism industry and it appears that Thailand's Prime Minister wants to join the club. He is returning for Asean's next education summit.
PM To Visit Phuket for Asean Education Summit

PM Skips Phuket Amid Tourist Alarm on Red Shirts
Photo Album A red shirt turnout in Bangkok threatens tourism's recovery as an Asean conference opens on Phuket, with a sideline meeting between the Deputy PM and Laguna protesters.
PM Skips Phuket Amid Tourist Alarm on Red Shirts

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Sunday November 28, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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