Phuket switches focus to becoming international medical hub
After failing to win its bid to host the Specialised Expo 2028, Phuket will now turn its attention to promoting itself as an international medical hub, spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said on Wednesday.
Thailand launched its bid for Phuket to host the 2028 Specialised Expo in Paris in June last year, highlighting the southern island’s suitability around the theme “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity”.
Phuket passed the first round of voting, gaining 16 votes, far more than Argentina, which received only 8.
Thailand's hopes, however, were dashed in the second round when it received only 15 votes, trailing rivals the US (21), Spain (48), and Serbia (69).
In the decisive round, Serbia received 81 votes to Spain's 70, handing Belgrade the right to host the expo.
Anucha said caretaker Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was grateful to the agencies involved for promoting Phuket despite failing to host the expo.
“Even though Phuket lost out in the second round, the premier has witnessed the cooperation of several sectors," he said.
He confirmed that Phuket will continue with its long-term development plans towards sustainability, such as developing infrastructure and a sound economic structure.
Phuket vice governor Amnuay Pinsuwan said the province will still focus on projects related to the expo, especially turning the planned venue in Mai Khao Subdistrict into an international health centre to support Thais and foreigners.
Meanwhile, Rewat Areerob, president of Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation, said the organisation will discuss projects to stimulate the economy and tourism with 18 local partners.