TAT backs F1 powerboat race

PHUKET: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has agreed in principle to give the Phuket Chamber of Commerce the 30 million baht it requested to bring F1 powerboat racing to Phuket next March.

The decision was made today at Kata Beach Resort after the Vice-Governor of the TAT, Santichai Euajongprasit, and the Director of the TAT office in Phuket, Suwalai Pinpradub, watched a video presentation on powerboat competitions elsewhere, and heard more about what the event could mean to Phuket from Phuket Chamber of Commerce Chairman Pamuke Achariyachai.

The proposal will now be submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapallop for final approval when he visits Phuket at the end of this month.

In his presentation, K. Pamuke suggested that the event would attract around 30,000 tourists to Phuket, and be seen by an international television audience of millions, some of whom might decide to visit Phuket in person later.

The F1 powerboat Grand Prix is scheduled to take place at Phuket Deep Sea Port, Cape Panwa, between March 8 and 14.

K. Pamuke said the Chamber had asked the TAT to be the main sponsor of the event because of the boost the event would give to the tourism industry.

Although the Chamber had asked TAT for 30 million baht to promote the event, V/Gov Santichai said the authority might be prepared to contribute as much as 60 million baht, if the organisers could demonstrate just how much it could benefit Thailand.

He said that Phuket’s hosting of the race was in line with government policy of having the country host at least one major sporting event each year.

“The first benefit should be that more high-class tourists will come here,” said K. Santichai, “Moreover, while Phuket is promoted as a place of good spas and beautiful beaches, the Grand Prix gives us chance to use exotic sport to promote tourism in Phuket.”

Phuket News
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