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Phuket enters bid for Expo 2028

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew is in Paris for Thailand entering its bid to host the World Specialised Expo in 2028 at the 170th General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) being held yesterday and today (June 20-21).

Governor Narong is joined in his visit to Paris by Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) President, TCEB Southern Regional Office Director Pattanachai Singhavara, Phuket Tourist Association President Bhummikitti Ruktaengam and even Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Weerasak Lorthongkham.

The Phuket delegation met with Thana Veskosit of the Thai Embassy in Paris last Friday (June 17) before the BIE General Assembly, during which the six countries would deliver their presentations in their bids to host Expo 2028.

Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, is also present at the event, as is Sun Tan, Vice President of the Federation of Thai Industries.

Thailand is one of five countries that have entered bids to host the expo.

The United States’ bid is for a Specialised Expo in Minnesota from May 15-August 15, 2027 under the theme “Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Wellness and Well-Being for All”.

Thailand’s bid is for a Specialised Expo in Phuket from Mar 20-June 17, 2028 under the theme “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity”.

Serbia’s bid is for a Specialised Expo in Belgrade from May 15-Aug 15, 2027 under the theme “Play for Humanity: Sport and Music for All”.

Spain’s bid is for a Specialised Expo in Malaga from June 5 and Sept 5, 2027 under the theme “The Urban Era: towards the Sustainable City”.

Argentina’s bid is for a Specialised Expo in San Carlos de Bariloche between Feb 1 and April 30, 2027 under the theme “Nature + Technology = Sustainable Energy. A viable future for humanity”.

A video of the presentations have been posted online. The video, posted on YouTube, is six hours long. Thailand’s presentation starts at 4 hours 24 minutes.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha submitted a formal letter of support for Phuket to host the World Specialised Expo.

The undated letter, shared by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) on June 15, was submitted to the BIE in English, French and Thai.

QSI International School Phuket

“Thailand has very much appreciated the spirit of global citizenship and, therefore, the importance of reinvigorating globalization for the benefit of all countries. In this regard, Thailand relishes the opportunity to accelerate international cooperation on the many global issues that require an enlivened spirit of global citizenship, whether it be for sustainable growth, climate change, the promotion of peace, or access to sustainable development,” he wrote.

“It is with this essence that I am pleased to affirm my support for the candidature of the island of Phuket to be the host for a Specialised Expo in 2028, with the theme of ‘Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity’. I believe that with Thailand’s experiences in sustainable development, world-class tourism, and hosting many international meetings, Phuket Expo 2028 will be a successful event that contributes to our shared commitment to the SDGs and indeed, a renewed spirit of internationalism through productive and innovative cooperation between our government, business, and civil society sectors,”  he added.

“Thailand stands ready to welcome the world to Phuket Island for Phuket Expo 2028, and is looking forward to this excellent opportunity to promote a refreshed appreciation of global connectivity and solidarity that will contribute to our shared aspirations for development, progress, and prosperity for all,” PM Prayut concluded.

The three-month event is expected to attract 4.9 million visitors to the fair, generating cash flow spending of B49 billion, altogether adding B39bn to the national GDP. Income from tax collection generated from Phuket hosting the event is estimated at B9.5bn

Hosting the event is expected to create some 113,000 jobs, with the event itself enjoying 9x ROI (return in investment).

The event is to be held on 141 rai of state land near Tha Chatchai in Mai Khao, at the northern tip of the island.

The project plan is to build a “world-class health tourism city”, with a 5,000-seat conference centre and research facility at the site, said the notice.

The infrastructure benefits Phuket will enjoy from hosting the expo is positioning itself as a medical, health and wellness tourism destination, as well as development of the public healthcare system, the formation of a “medical community”, a senior care centre and a modern patient care centre all based at the new development.

“Prosperity distribution and reduction of inequality in urban development” and “Development of a standardized waste disposal system in the Phuket area” were also touted as further benefits.

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew has already repeatedly explained that the bid to host the expo is part of a plan to help broaden Phuket’s economic base and reduce the island’s overdependence on destination tourism.

The Thai Cabinet in January approved a budget of B4.18bn for Phuket to host the expo.

Phuket Chamber of Commerce President Thanusak Phungdet has announced that a delegation from the BIE is currently expected to arrive in Phuket for a four-day inspection tour, from July 25-28.

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