Tourism roadshow targets neighbors

PHUKET CITY: About 30 Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) staff, members of the Phuket Tourism Association and industry representatives from Phang Nga and Krabi are taking a “Thailand – Southern Paradise Roadshow” to Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Johor Bahru and Singapore in a lightning tour that will end Saturday.

The focus of the promotion is Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival, due to start on October 14.

Suwalai Pinpradab, Director of the Phuket TAT office, said that of the 1.3 million Malaysians who visit Thailand each year, only 40,000 come to Phuket.

However, she said, it was hoped that more Chinese-Malaysians and Singaporeans would be attracted to the island by the Vegetarian Festival, although the roadshow would promote other attractions, such as shopping, diving, golf and spas.

There are many benefits in promoting Phuket so close to home, said K. Suwalai. “People from Malaysia and Singapore can come to Thailand more often because we are near, and now there are so many low-cost airlines.”

K. Suwalai also gave details about how this year’s festival will be celebrated. The centenary of the Bang Niew Shrine will be marked during the festival’s opening parade, which will leave from Nawamindra Memoiral Square Park, on Phuket Rd, Phuket City, at 7 am on October 14.

The parade will feature dragon and lion dancers from Nakhon Sawan, and there will be a free white T-shirts for anyone who wants to wear one.

Phuket Rd will be closed while the parade makes its way to Saphan Hin, where a fair marking HM Queen Sirikit’s 72nd birthday and sponsored by 40 hotels in Phuket will feature free vegetarian food.

The parade and fair are expected to be broadcast live on TV across Thailand, said K. Suwalai.

Phuket News

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