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Dance a welcome dance or not: Phuket waits for the word

Phuket '70 Percent Certain' of Asean Summit: PM

Thursday, August 13, 2009
THE Prime Minister has told Phuket Governor Wichai Praisa-nob that Phuket is '70 percent certain'' of holding the Asean Plus Six Summit in October.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva added that last-minute bids to stage the important event were being considered from two rival Thai resort destinations.

Pattaya and Hua Hin are both keen to be the venue, the governor said he was told.

Because of the red-shirt protest and invasion that ended the summit in Pattaya before it began, Pattaya holds little chance.

But Hua Hin may be a more serious rival, the governor said. He added that he told the PM to please make a final decision before the end of August.

A delay in decision-making for the original April gathering meant that Phuket, which was scheduled to stage the event, had to be overlooked in favor of Pattaya because there were too many Songkran holiday bookings on the island.

The same problem could arise with the rescheduled October summit . . . especially as the nine-day Phuket Vegetarian Festival is on at the same time.

The Vegetarian Festival attracts thousands of visitors from all over Thailand and overlaps with the Asean Plus Six summit, set for October 23-25.

It would be sad if the summit went elsewhere after the effort that has been made to prepare Phuket. But the argument could certainly be made that other destinations in Thailand deserve a slice of the Asean ''cake.''

If Phuket is chosen, as seems likely, then the gathering will probably centre on Karon, with the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa as the centre of events and attendees and the large media contingent housed there and at surrounding resorts.

Michael Ayling, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket, said that whether the October summit was held there or elsewhere, he hoped the Asean booking would be made for Phuket.

''The July event was excellent,'' he said. ''It was very positive for Thailand and very positive for Phuket. We were very pleased at every level.''

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Wednesday July 24, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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