Large convention center planned for Phuket

Phuket is developing plans to build a huge convention center in Patong, two companies are vying for the construction contract that could see an exhibition and convention center that would hold 15,000 people. Phuket doesn’t have a facility large enough to host large conventions, the planned convention center would help boost MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) visitors to the city. The Thailand Conventions and Exhibitions Bureau (TCEB) predicts that around 1.32 million foreign visitors will attend MICE events in the fiscal year from October 2018 to September 2019 and will generate revenue of 101 billion baht. Most of the MICE visitors come from China and the US. About 45 percent of MICE visitors attend events in Bangkok and great interest has been shown in events in Phuket. Thailand is a top destination for international MICE visitors.

The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) for February 2019 hit 95.6%, the highest in six years. to 95.6 from 93.8 in January, breaking the record as the 6-year high since February 2013. Factors contributing to this increase are mainly from domestic demand in food, construction, and automotive industries, big government projects, and the revenues from political campaigning ahead of the general election that contributed to publication, automotive, and food industries. The FTI’s forecast for the next three months was increased to 105.4, higher than January’s level of 104.1, as industries expect to see clearer economic policies from the newly elected government.

The government plans on upgrading three islands in the Eastern Economic Corridor for quality tourism, upgrading sewage and water systems, garbage collection and making the islands “smart cities” where information and communication technology (ICT) and various physical devices are connected to the network optimize the efficiency of city operations and services and connect to residents. The three islands are Koh Si Chang in Chon Buri, Koh Samet in Rayong and Koh Chang in Trat. The action plan covers 47 projects with a total investment of 30.25 billion baht from 2017-2021.Public-private partnerships will invest around 23 billion baht while the government's fiscal budget will 6.89 billion baht and state owned enterprises will spend around 350 million baht. The goal is to increase visitors to the EEC provinces to 46.72 million in 2021 and generate 508.59 billion baht in income, up from 28.89 million and 285.57 billion baht in 2017.

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