Connect with us


Governor attempts to revive Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Center



PHUKET: The Phuket governor is attempting to resurrect the Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC) after the plan was killed during the Yingluck Adminsitration’s rule.

“I am willing to breathe new life into this project in Mai Khao; as a member city of Thailand’s MICE [Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, Exhibitions], the only thing we are missing to fully comply with this effort is such a facility,” Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada said on December 14.

“This facility would not only benefit tourism, but would also help to steer Phuket toward becoming a hub of trade for Thailand. It will help us to draw commercial interests to the island. It is time to reconsider this project.”

Governor Chamroen established four key points that needed to be addressed: the location of the facility, to see if Mai Khao is still the most appropriate location; the design, to ensure appropriate usage of land allocation; the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), to ensure that officials fully understand what impact the facility would have; and investment, to establish a balance between the government and the private sector.

The failure of the Phuket ICEC to move forward in 2012, while the budget and execution of a similar plan in Chaing Mai received the green light, led to accusations that the project was ‘stolen’ from the province.

In response to the cancellation of the project, Phuket MP Anchalee Vanich Thepabutra stood in Parliament and called for the government to answer why the 2.6-billion-baht project to build a Phuket ICEC had been scratched.

Branding the Cabinet ‘narrow-minded’, Ms Anchalee explained that the funds for the project were secured through the Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) fiscal stimulus program rolled out by the Democrat government under former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

“Former PM Abhisit devised a plan under which Bangkok would become the hub for Asean tourists, and Phuket the gateway for international tourists, with 2.6bn baht allocated to building the Phuket ICEC and 2.3bn baht to building the Chiang Mai ICEC,” Ms Anchalee explained.

“At that time, people asked PM Abhisit to re-allocate the 2.3bn baht dedicated for the Chiang Mai ICEC to other projects, but he didn’t, because he believed the ICEC would be a very good opportunity for the people of Chiang Mai to boost their income generated through tourism.

“Today, the Chiang Mai ICEC is a reality and ready to open,” she said.

Three days later, Ms Anchalee and Phuket received their answer – laying the project to rest, at least until this week.

“We did not ‘steal’ the project. We cannot continue with it because it failed to pass its Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA] requirements; it failed that because the proposed site was at Baan Mai Khao, which is the site of Phuket’s last mangrove forest,” Mr Woravat told the Phuket Gazette days after Ms Anchalee stood in Parliament.

Mr Woravat’s explanation laid the responsibility of the decision to shelve the Phuket ICEC squarely with the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), a fully dependent department operating under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).

Even in 2011, the Gazette noted that ICEC was a ‘decades-old saga of fruitless efforts’ (story here).

However, Gov Chamroen was confident and ready to present the plan to Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

What you get for $X4 hours ago

What $100,000 buys you for a condo in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Hua Hin

Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Activists plan protests all across Thailand

Thailand6 hours ago

Snitching on parking space hoggers could earn you 5,000 baht in Thailand

Sponsored14 hours ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Weather6 hours ago

Storm Noru weakens from typhoon to depression as it moves across Thailand

World7 hours ago

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan hits students preparing for exam

Politics8 hours ago

BREAKING: Prayut reinstated as Prime Minister of Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Technology8 hours ago

What role for Thailand in China’s great European EV invasion?

Cambodia8 hours ago

Cambodian delegation in UK to seach for stolen treasures

Thailand8 hours ago

20 baht notes printed with errors, says Bank of Thailand

Crime9 hours ago

Loan shark bombs debtor’s house in southern Thailand

Thailand9 hours ago

Thai researchers develop flood-resistant rice strain

Press Room10 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s hospitality leaders step into the ring to fight for sustainability at PHIST 5

Crime10 hours ago

Horrified relatives attempt ID of disfigured suitcase victim

Travel10 hours ago

Things to do in Bangkok that cost next to nothing (2022)

Travel10 hours ago

5 best spa treatments in Bangkok to pamper yourself this September – October

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11