Connect with us

Phuket

Startling plans for Phuket’s future

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

Startling plans for Phuket’s future | Thaiger
image
image

PHUKET TOWN: Four Cabinet members attended high-powered meetings with Phuket government officials and local businessmen on Friday and Saturday (July 4 and 5), indicating that the government is still committed to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s vision of Phuket as a regional hub for transport, medical tourism, IT, duty-free shopping and yachting. The Saturday meeting at Royal Phuket City Hotel was led by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and attended by Tourism and Sports Minister Sontaya Kunplome, Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister Surapong Suebwonglee. Several startling government initiatives were announced, most with three-month timetables for specific tasks to be accomplished: Duty-free shopping: The Customs Department is considering tax exemptions on certain products, such as wristwatches and leather products, in order to develop the island into a “shopper’s paradise”. Marine leisure industry: The Finance Ministry, Excise Department and Customs Department will work together to eliminate registration fees for yachts and do away with import duties on foreign yachts, which now stand at about 47%. International conference center: The government continues to support the multi-billion-baht project, though no site has yet been chosen. The Tourism Authority of Thailand, which supported Saphan Hin as the site, will further study the siting issue and make its recommendations to the cabinet. A special committee will be formed to coordinate the project, and a final conclusion is expected within three months. K. Somkid and other officials visited both the Saphan Hin site and the site at Mai Khao, which is supported by a majority of Phuket residents. Spa industry promotion: The government will support the growing spa industry as an environmentally-friendly way to diversify Phuket’s tourism economy. The Public Health Ministry and Board of Investment (BoI) will cooperate to adopt standards for the industry to make it more competitive internationally. Medical hub: Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan announced that the Ministry would be ready to declare Phuket a “medical hub” at the beginning of next year. Health-tourism packages will be promoted along with Thai traditional massage and spa therapies, for which the Ministry will establish hygiene and safety standards. IT City: The ICT Ministry will continue its efforts to make Phuket a “cyber paradise” by coordinating a pilot effort to integrate Phuket’s government agencies through IT technology. The government will try to attract foreign investment and know-how for the industry by improving infrastructure. Plans to accomplish this will be drawn up and approved within three months. The Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) will also be established within three months. The ICT and Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) will add 14,400 fixed-line telephone numbers and will make broadband Internet connections available to 80% of the island’s fixed lines within six months. Phuket will tap directly into the global Internet cable system within one year, by-passing the existing connection through Bangkok. Prince of Songkhla University will cooperate with the ICT Ministry to establish a new program to meet the needs of the local software industry, the success of which will depend on a ready supply of young people with programming skills. Transport: In a meeting on Friday at Phuket International Airport, K Somkid said that a Cabinet committee was preparing a request for a 500-million-baht budget from the BoI to improve Phuket’s transport infrastructure. It noted that that total will not cover all budget requests from all transport agencies. The Airports Authority of Thailand alone has requested 500 million baht for a massive upgrade to the airport that would include runway extensions, expansion of the main and cargo terminals, and many other improvements. Other budget requests include: – The Harbor Department’s 350-million baht request to upgrade the deep sea port at Ao Por, Thalang. The project’s environmental impact assessment is still being prepared. – Phuket Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi’s 38-million baht plan to construct a new bus terminal for the island in Koh Kaew to ease traffic congestion in Phuket Town. K. Somkid, however, viewed the proposed site as too far from the city center and expressed worry about the environmental effects of building there. – Other areas for transport improvement discussed included roadside rest stops and language training for taxi and tuk-tuk drivers. K. Somkid said that a cabinet committee will evaluate all of the proposed transport projects and submit the 500-million-baht budget request to the BoI within one month.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 4,886 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Substandard masks, PM to decide on Omicron, lingerie worker demands | Dec 1

Southeast Asia12 hours ago

Vietnam to welcome fully vaccinated tourists from Thailand this month

Sponsored20 hours ago

Hungry Hub Bangkok Rooftop Festival 2021

advertiseadvertise
Southeast Asia12 hours ago

Myanmar junta likely to be temporarily barred from the UN, along with Taliban

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Hospital warns not all PCR tests properly detect Omicron variant

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand’s exclusion from US Summit for Democracy could impact foreign investment

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism13 hours ago

TAT predicts 500,000 travellers before 2022, 133,000 arrived so far

Thailand13 hours ago

Kanchanaburi park ranger reportedly stabbed co-worker, shot himself

Crime14 hours ago

Former Deputy PM Suthep indicted over construction contracts

Transport15 hours ago

New variant casts shadow over Thailand Motor Expo, concerns outbreak could affect the industry

Thailand15 hours ago

Thai porn industry, Forget about Pattaya nightlife, Hualampong station | Thaiger Bites | Ep.72

Transport17 hours ago

Cabinet sets aside over 5 billion baht to improve Bangkok’s public transportation

Drugs17 hours ago

Men arrested at Bangkok airport for allegedly smuggling drugs valued at 95 million baht

Thailand17 hours ago

Victoria’s Secret Thailand supplier faces labour abuse by laid off workers

Coronavirus World19 hours ago

Health officials say Omicron probably in the Netherlands prior to South Africa reports

Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Tourism9 months ago

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

Phuket9 months ago

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

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

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

Tourism9 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Trending