Due to the request of the Thai government to find a province to host the World Expo 2020, Wichai Praisa-ngob, the Governor of Phuket, called a meeting to discuss presenting Phuket as the host of the event. The attendees at the meeting were Smith Palawatwichai – a Vice Governor of Phuket; Somboon Jirayus – the President of Phuket Tourism Business Association; representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Southern Hotel Association of Thailand, and private sectors.
Wichai revealed that the qualifications needed by a host province were:
- The province must have more than 1,000 – 1,500 rai of area to hold the World Expo 2020
- The province must have its own international airport (or the location of the province must be within 200 – 250 far kilometers from Suwanbhumi International Airport, Bangkok)
- The province must have proper public utilities and a long term plan in transportation development to Bangkok, with no more that 150 minutes traveling period including a mass electric train development project, high speed train and railway development project, double railway project, transportation investment projects or marine transportation projects that would be used to travel to the event.
- The province must have enough 3 – 5 star hotels or they must be located within 150 minutes from the event location.
- The province is supported by local administrative organizations and the residents to host the event.
- The province must have development strategies that match with socioeconomic development plan.
- The province must feature its uniqueness in tourism and culture or be outstanding in economic innovation or alternative power development.
- After the event, the province can develop the conference center, plus academic and social learning centers.”
The area planned to be a possible location of World Expo in Phuket is at Thachatchai in the very north of the island, where an international conference hall and product exhibition center has already be planned for construction.
In addition, the related sectors are quite confident that Phuket has a high possibility to be selected since the island’s conditions are better than other candidates in Thai provinces.