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Phuket officials working on plans to ease dependence on tourism

Phuket is hoping to ease its heavy reliance on tourism, with local officials hatching plans for a “New Economy” for the island. The Bangkok Post reports that deputy governor Amnuay Pinsuwan has spoken of a “10+ Pillars” plan, which considers all aspects that can improve the island’s economy.

The writer, anecdotally, suggests that 95% of Phuket’s economy is either directly, or indirectly, linked to tourism.

These could include gastronomy, education, medical and wellness, SMEs and Phuket’s status as a maritime destination. Others factors included in the plan are sports, tourism, fisheries and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) activity support.

Phuket’s MICE industry has suffered over the years because there is no purpose-built convention centre and the island’s ad-hoc transport and accommodation have evolved for tourism, not organised meetings and conferences.

Amnuay says the idea is to connect people in various areas and encourage cooperation among different industries on the island. The deputy governor expects Phuket to see more MICE events, as the province has been included in a list of 7 “Mice Cities” drawn up by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

According to Amnuay, Phuket has a number of popular attractions that make it the ideal destination for conferences and other MICE events.

“Phuket is one of the famous cities for MICE organisers around the world. Both sides of the city – the old city areas and natural attractions – have proven popular and attracted a huge number of people each year.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the TCEB says many expo projects, including the island’s bid to host the 2028 Specialised Expo, have arisen from the vision of the potential of the southern provinces.

On August 22 – 23, the TCEB will hold a workshop on preparing for a global expo for entrepreneurs in Phuket, Trang, and Surat Thani. The event will be held in Surat Thani and is part of an overall plan to improve the ability of local entrepreneurs to welcome global expo organisers and work on proposals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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