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25/05/2010 - Phuket Considering Bid for World Expo 2020  25/05/2010 - Phuket Considering Bid for World Expo 2020

An announcement today in Phuket Wan, claimed that Phuket could be making a bid for the World Expo 2020. 

Phuket Governor, Wichai Praisa-ngob, was quoted as saying, 'It's a very good chance to come Phuket's way,' at the planning meeting at Provincial Hall in Phuket City.

The island may need to join with neighbouring province Phang Nga to pull off the event which requires a site of around 1500 Rai (240 hectares), Phuket only has around 600 Rai (96 hectares) of spare public land at it's disposal.  However, it is thought that it would be possible to link sites in the north of Phuket with land in Phang Nga and Krabi - the proposal is currently being discussed between the three provinces.

Phuket already has the infrastructure and plenty of high-end hotels to cope with the number of tourists who would visit the expo and with the Sports and Conference Centre set to open in the next few years and a major expansion of Phuket International Airport on the cards, Phuket will easily be able to cope with 12,000,000 visitors a year. 

Phuket Tourist Association president Somboon Jirayut said, "This event is as big as the World Cup in football or the Olympic Games. It would be great for Phuket. Tourism to Phuket would help to boost the whole country."

The Interior Ministry is seeking expressions of interest around Thailand.

Shanghai's World Expo is currently underway in China, with exhibitions by more than 100 countries. It is expected the fair will receive 70 million people in total over six months.

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