PATONG: Some 40 companies in Patong have signed up to support a TAT project to count down to the Millennium with a beach party that will include the launching of thousands of miniature hot-air balloons and a massive fireworks display. Anuparp Thirarath, director of the TAT, told the Gazette this morning that he had “sent my proposal to about 150 businesses in Patong, but up to last night only about 40 responded. But that’s OK because all of these agree that a spectacular party, with an invitation to all tourists to join in a countdown on the beach, is an appropriate thing to do.” Khun Anuparp added that he expects about 20,000 tourists and local people to join the beachside countdown. He said the fireworks and hot-air balloon display will last 45 minutes and will cost between 1.5 and 2 million baht. It will be paid for by contributions of up to 25,000 baht apiece from local businesses. He said that a previous TAT plan, to invite people to take tea while watching the sun go down on December 31 at Laem Prom Thep, had been ditched because “we were afraid no one would attend”.
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