On October 4th, Tri Akaradecha – the Governor of Phuket, Tawichart Intarit – Head of Phuket Cultural Office, Prasert Fakthongpon – the President of Phuket Shrine Association, and Wannaprapa Sooksomboon – the Assistant Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket’s Office, together made a statement about the Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2010 at Phuket Provincial Hall.
The Governor of Phuket said that the festival would be held during October 8th – 16th. There were 17 shrines around Phuket holding the festival in their areas. Every sector had already prepared for the festival in terms of traffic, security, and price of the food. He asked every section to work together in welcoming people who are coming to join the festival.
The Head of Phuket Cultural Office said that the opening of the festival would be on October 7th in the area of the central stage, Sapan Hin Park. In the event, there would be an exhibition about the origins of the festival and information about activities held in different shrines around Phuket. On the second day of the festival, there would be a major prayer session to bless H.M. the King Bhumipol, therefore he would like a lot of people wearing white costumes to join the event and pray for HM the King. He added that Governor of Phuket would visit and have meals with people in 17 shrines attending the festival during October 8th-16th.
Meanwhile the President of Phuket Shrine Association said that there would be stricter policies that the deity mediums should only use weapons in the legend to perform self-torture. The police would keep an eye on the mediums that used oversized or frightful objects in self-torture.
The Assistant Director of TAT Phuket revealed that 80% of rooms were reserved before the festival, while 100% of rooms were fully booked during the last days of the festival, coinciding with a long holiday weekend in China. It was estimated that there would be 10% more tourists from last year and the turnover would be 200 million baht. Moreover there were two airlines, Thai Air Asia and Qatar Air, providing more regular direct flights to Phuket.
Many tourists from Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, China and Thailand, come together on an annual basis and book a year in advance. In addition, more tourists from the Middle East, India and Australia are making travel in Phuket more energetic.