Khun Kobkarn will be formulating her policy today and tomorrow, Phuketwan has been told, with an eye to bolstering tourism throughout Thailand.
She is expected to visit Phuket before the Fourth Asia Beach Games, which run from November 14-21.
The opening of a new viewing station on top of Rang Hill in Phuket City could present an opportunity for the minister to visit, Phuket's Director of Tourism and Sport, Santi Pawai, said today. ''We should have a date for the opening soon,'' he said.
Khun Kobkarn knows Phuket well. Her husband, Major General Chonsit Wadhnawarangkun, was Phuket's Police Commander in 2011-12.
The previous Minister for Tourism and Sport, Somsak Pureesrisak, shared the Phuketwan Phuket Person of the Year 2013 award with pop singer Rihanna for the way in which he encouraged a dialogue between ambassadors and the island's authorities to improve tourism and service.
Before Khun Somsak, it was not unusual for tourism ministers to go for years without feeling the need to visit Phuket, despite the island's position as a source of revenue and the need to maintain its reputation as a great place for a holiday.
The clearance of the beaches and the transformation of the island's taxi and tuk-tuk services are likely to make Phuket more appealing and become part of a strategy for preserving the region's natural beauty and charm.