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Senate panel proposes ‘Special Economic Zone’ status for Phuket

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Senate panel proposes ‘Special Economic Zone’ status for Phuket | Thaiger

BANGKOK / PHUKET: A special Senate committee proposed this afternoon that the government turn Phuket into a Special Economic Zone [SEZ] for tourism to facilitate tourism developments on the island province.

Songkram Chuenban, the chairman of the ad hoc panel, said the committee made a trip to the province and found that it had a lot of problems that could inhibit the development of Phuket tourism to its full potential.

For example, the capacity of the Phuket International Airport is limited and there are not enough immigration officers to cope with the rising number of foreign tourists. The panel also found that the province’s basic facilities are inadequate to service even the present level of tourists.

He said a special law should be enacted to allow the provincial administration to have more power to carry out tourism developments and to retain 30 per cent of revenue for these developments.

The idea of Phuket becoming an SEZ was first floated about 15 years ago and has cropped up almost annually ever since. However, today’s senate proposal marks the first time that SEZ status has been tied specifically to tourism only.

— Nation & Phuket Gazette Reporters

 

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