PHUKET: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects no less than 300 million baht to be injected into the Phuket economy over the upcoming holiday period from December 23 to January 2.
TAT Region 4 Director Suwalai Pinpradab told the Gazette today that a recent check of hotel occupancy rates and advanced bookings indicates that most island hotels will be fully-booked, or at near-capacity, for the period.
To ensure that everybody has a good time, TAT is teaming up with the provincial government, Thai Airways and Central Festival Phuket to host Phuket Countdown 2005, a series of cultural performances, live concerts, and an international food festival and beer garden. The event, with a total budget of over 3 million baht, will take place at Central Festival Phuket’s Lan Lom Garden [the forecourt in front of Phuja Nirvana], she said.
K. Suwalai said the highlight would be on New Year’s Eve, when festivities will get underway at 5:30 pm. No less than 40 singers and other entertainers from Bangkok will be on hand to help Phuket ring in the New Year, which will be greeted with a 10- to 15-minute fireworks display.
“During the countdown on December 31, we will invite guests from different nationalities to come on stage and give everyone a new year’s blessings in their own native language,” she said.
“Everyone who attends will receive a free balloon and be asked to make a wish for 2005. At the stroke of midnight, all the balloons will be released in unison and will float up to the sky,” she added.
The TAT, noted for its use of colorful slogans to entice tourists to the Kingdom, will then officially declare 2005 as the year of “Happiness on Earth”.
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