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The Phuket conference centre as it was to be in a 2011 plan

Phuket Will Gain Conference and Exhibition Centre After All, Says Governor

Thursday, June 19, 2014
PHUKET: Construction of a big new shopping complex in Phuket would give the island a fresh chance to bid for the MICE market, Governor Maitree Intrusud said yesterday.

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.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


There is already a massive conference centre just over Sarasin Bridge, with the dinosaur eggs outside. Then the new big conference centre in Laguna and now the Govenor wants another one? Why. Remember the 6000 + seater centre at Tesco Lotus intersection, well that has now become the Aphrodite Show theatre. Even some of the big hotels can cater for large MICE parties. I know as I have seen their cousins the rats eating out of overfilled garbage cans on the sidewalks. No more building should be the new catch phrase here now. BTW, I am still looking for the high end tourists from yesteryear? I can't seem to find any.

Posted by Ineptocracy on June 19, 2014 12:58

Editor Comment:

I don't know where you get your information from, Ineptocracy - possibly from those rat bins you write about - but the new big ''conference centre'' at Laguna is actually an all-purpose events marquee. Certainly they could host a large group, although 8000 is probably a huge stretch. The Aphrodite Show is now a theatre and it was originally constructed as a theatre-restaurant. No more buildings? Shouldn't you have started your Doomsayer campaign in circa 1999?


Wow...Just what Phuket needs...5555, more concrete and steel...! When will that arm pit sink...? Please...?

Posted by Ted on June 19, 2014 13:07

Editor Comment:

I see that you still continue to laugh in all the wrong places, Ted. Can't get your affliction treated? And still can't spell? Pity.


Kathu growth is really exploding lately. But the choice of venue is obvious. Only half the traffic jam from wherever your coming from.

Posted by Lena on June 19, 2014 14:41


I might be wrong, I'm sure Ed will correct me, but weren't we told the convention centre was canned because Phuket didn't vote for the Shinawatra government.

Posted by Laurie Howells on June 19, 2014 16:03


Wow that is going to generate a lot of rubbish for a trash incinerator that can't handle the current load.

Posted by Vfaye on June 19, 2014 16:09


I believe the convention centre and related facilities for the MICE industry should be private sector driven. Government funds should be directed elsewhere... there are lots of more practical needs for Thailand's public money than MICE facilities, in my opinion.

Posted by Duncan on June 19, 2014 16:10


MICE tourism is the same mass tourism, on the lower edge of "quality tourist" or below.

MICE sector normally is developed in areas where regular tourist flow is insufficient, or to fill seasonal gaps. Nothing of this I observe in Phuket.

In terms of sound tourism( and beach management) decision about further MICE sector development in Phuket is coming against such targets, and in my opinion did not take such factors into account.

There is no doubt that it is possible to get a high rate of utilization of new MICE complex, that will achieve some economical targets, like higher employment and business profit, but overall it goes against sustainability of the island.

Posted by Sue on June 19, 2014 19:09

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