With Phuket tourism greatly decimated by the pandemic, as 95 per cent of its income was dependent on the sector, the resort island has “learnt its lesson” and will shift its focus to business events instead.
Speaking at the opening keynote for IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific 2023 on September 26, Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation, and adviser of Phuket of Tourist Association, shared details of the new Phuket Sustainable Strategies 2030, of which MICE & Mega Event City is one of the goals.
“The reason behind our ambition to be a MICE & Mega Event City is our belief that (events) will distribute income to the communities,” he explained.
Phuket’s business events strategies include organising festivals throughout the year; establishing art in all fields; cultural exploration and experiences; utilising technology for better reach; and achieving all-round sustainability.
While Phuket may have failed its bid for the Specialised Expo 2028, Bhummikitti said city leaders have learnt from the process and will continue to pursue bidding for other mega events.
Phuket stakeholders are already organising their own public events, like the Phuket Peranakan Festival 2023 in June that spotlighted Phuket Old Town. Coming up this October is the Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2023, which will feature plant-based and other culinary delights.