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10/05/2008 - Thai Government approves 100 Billion Baht plan for Phuket.  10/05/2008 - Thai Government approves 100 Billion Baht plan for Phuket.

The Thai Government has given their approval to a 100 Billion Baht plan to rejuvenate the area around The Bay of Phuket.  The development plan on 3,000 Rai(480,000m2) of reclaimed land includes a convention centre and marina as well as other facilities.

The project was first conceived over twenty years ago and has always failed to start, however, this time the responsibility has been given to The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), a public organisation which is under the direction of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Rajathin Syamananda, who is head of the DASTA´s Phuket Project Committee is confident that the project will go ahead this time.  

“Allowing DASTA to develop the project meant it could be fast-tracked,“ he said.

Mr Syamananda went on to say, “As we have full authority from government, we can pass the project proposal on for Cabinet much more easily.”

Today´s plan reflects a previous proposal which was put forward in 2005 by the Japanese construction company, Umezawa Tadao. This resembled a floating city and had an estimated cost of 130 Billion Baht.  It is hoped that the new project will attract investment from abroad and will also benefit the area both environmentally as well as conserving natural resources in the area.  

“Now that DASTA is fully authorized to lead the project, it will not fail again. We will work as quickly as possible to iron out all the legal and investment issues so that it can move forward,” Mr Syamananda said.

The proposals will be re-evaluated by the DASTA committee however, the main criteria are not expected to change, these are a marina and facilities for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.

The plans for the marina are substantial.  The 600 rai (360,000 m2) circular marina would include berthing for superyachts, hundreds of slips for smaller vessels, a retail and commercial centre and repair and maintenance facilities as well as several condominium apartment buildings.

Additional facilities at the site include plans for “Phuket Arena”, a 40,000m2 convention centre with a capacity to hold events for up to 15,000 people, two exhibition areas, a 40,000m2 business centre with one hundred commercial units to rent, a thousand room hotel complex and a 60,000m2 shopping centre which would include malls, restaurants and cinemas together with many other faciltiies.

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