Phuket governor drums up support for bid to host 2028 expo
Phuket’s governor and the chair of the island’s tourist association met with officials at the Foreign Ministry in Bangkok on Thursday, as they intensified their efforts to increase support for the bid to host the 2028 Specialised Expo.
Phuket governor Narong Woonciew said Expo 2028 dovetails with the province's long-term development strategy to promote sustainability.
It also aligns with the province’s 2023 to 2027 development strategy, Narong said. The ambitious plan includes elevating Phuket as a destination for gastronomy, medical and sport tourism, and international education. It also calls for expanding marinas, increasing the number of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, creating a smart city and turning the island into the tuna industry hub of Asean.
Narong explained that the economic diversification strategy would ensure that the province could better cope with climate change, pandemics and the disruptions inherent in the development of new technology.
Currently, 95% of the province’s revenue is generated by tourism, the governor said. The new development plan not only diversifies the economy but also aligns with His Majesty King Bhumibol the Great's Sufficiency Economy.
Phuket’s long-term development strategy makes it a fitting place to inspire and foster the positive changes necessary to create a sustainable future, Narong added.
"The expo is not only for the future of people in Phuket, but also the world," he said.
Phuket Tourist Association's advisory chairman Bhummikitti Ruktaengam said the world-famous island’s tourism potential had yet to be fully tapped. Increasing transport connectivity and world-class facilities will boost its appeal, Bhummikitti said.
The government has already started developing new infrastructure in Phuket and it will be completed before the expo begins, he said.
"Hosting the expo in Phuket will also contribute to local development, which will benefit local communities and those beyond," he said.
Thailand launched its bid for Phuket to host the 2028 Specialised Expo in Paris in June last year, highlighting the island’s suitability to host the event under the theme “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity”. The Bureau of International Exposition will announce the country that will host the event in June. There are five candidates: the US, Argentina, Serbia, Spain, and Thailand.