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Phuket has plenty of attractions for Foreign Ministers, too

Phuket Resorts Sweat on FM Summit Verdict

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
A DECISION is expected at any moment on which resort will host the important meeting of 10 Asean Foreign Ministers, scheduled to run from July 16 to July 23.

The prize event is almost certain to come to Phuket.

But what's not clear is whether it will be hosted by the north or the south: Laguna Phuket in Bang Tao, or the Hilton Phuket Arcadia in Karon.

Because it is such a long-running conference, the FMs' meeting is of equal significance to the Asean Plus Six summit of 16 national leaders, scheduled for Phuket in October.

Media coverage over an extended period should boost Phuket's attractiveness for future conferences.

Once again, for security reasons, the decision on the venue is being left to the last minute.

While the direct benefits to any chosen resort consist largely of a cash boost to revenue, there are spin-offs in terms of prestige, especially for future seminars in a limited market.

Given that the government has pledged to help tourism on Phuket, the two most probable scenarios are, in order of likelihood:

1. Laguna Phuket will be chosen so the north of Phuket has an economic boost, then the south has its share with the Hilton and surrounding resorts hosting the October summit.

2. The Hilton plays host to the FMs in July and a decision is left open until later in the year on which Phuket resort hosts the October summit.

The outside and almost unthinkable option is that Pattaya has been lobbying hard to be given another chance . . . and someone has decided to take that risk.

Many destinations and individual resorts will have been in touch with the Foreign Ministry to lobby for the event.

In precisely the same way, the Governor of Phuket, Wichai Praisa-nob, recently made his feelings known in a private meeting with the Foreign Minister, Kasit Piromya.

While a show was made of demonstrating Phuket's security preparations when the Asean Plus Six leaders' summit was hastily scheduled for mid-year, no public practice sessions have been held lately.

This is being interpreted both as a good sign (everything is ready on Phuket) and a bad sign (they are going somewhere else.)

Expect an announcement any time now, possibly as early as Wednesday.

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Saturday February 24, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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