January 28, 2010: US Navy Defense Force representatives from the US Embassy in Thailand led by Mr. Greg Miller and Mr. Douglas Robinson with their entourage met with Vice Governor of Phuket, Mr. Smith Parnwatvichai, to inform the details regarding US Navy ships including an aircraft carrier transporting military aircraft that will be arriving on January 31 and staying until February 4, 2010 at the Deep Sea Port situated in Phuket Bay at Ao Makharm, Vichitr district, Phuket town.
The discussions were about the details of the US Navy ships carrying state-of-the art US aircraft. The Navy ships’ troops are taking shore leave for a period of up to 5 days from January 31 until February 4, 2010 with 6,000 crew members coming off & on board.
Moreover, protection for the US navies, against un-solicited exploitation from unscrupulous tourism operators that operates locally in Phuket, will be taken care of. The Ministry of Tourism & Sports or TAT? has agreed to cooperatively monitor the local business to ensure that a convenient stay for the US Navy crews is provided.
With cooperation from both parties, senior officers of related sectors have formed a committee to discuss the visit on January 29, 2010 at Kathu police station, Phuket, in preparation for appropriate measures and regulations to be in effect to facilitate this particularly large group.
Mr. Smith further said that this visit of the US Navy defense force in Phuket will create a significant boost to the economy in its tourism industry as 6,000 Navy soldiers will engage in spending activities and consumption of local products and services. The short stay of the US Navy is good news for the Phuket tourism sector as it will not only bring about income flows but will also help to promote positive images of Phuket as one of the largest tourism destinations of Thailand.