Before the idea for Phuket to host the Expo was conceived, the Thai government had already initiated several projects to grow Phuket into a health and wellness destination.
Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), in partnership with Phuket City and Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, welcomed nine Enquiry Mission Members from Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos, as guests of the Thai Government from 24-29 July 2022 on their inspection trip to Bangkok and Phuket to evaluate the Phuket’s candidacy to host Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand.
Should Phuket be selected, the island would be the first city in ASEAN to host world-class expo. Themed “Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity”, Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand will take place from 20 March – 17 June 2028 on a site measuring 141 rai (22.56 hectares) at the northern tip of Phuket island known as Mai Khao Beach. TCEB is projecting a minimum of 7 million expo visitation and a revenue of 50 billion baht for Thailand. The Expo is an opportunity to raise the quality of life for residents of the province by accelerating infrastructural development for transport, healthcare, and tourism.
Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of TCEB said: “Representing the Thai government, TCEB had worked with Phuket in the preparation for the bid to host Specialised Expo 2028 since 2020. That initial expression of interest was followed by the first country presentation to BIE in June, when TCEB and Phuket shared Thailand’s vision for Expo 2028 Phuket at BIE’s headquarter in Paris. The recently concluded Enquiry Mission is an important next-step in the selection process of a host city. During their visit, the nine members of the Enquiry Mission met all related parties to determine the degree of support from national, provincial, and municipal authorities in the organisation of the Expo.
“The key priority for BIE is post-expo area development. For this, we are highlighting that the facilities built for Expo 2028 Phuket will be re-developed into the World Medical and Wellness Center with provisions for public-private partnerships in healthcare and wellness, education, and sustainable living. The Expo will benefit not only the city of Phuket but also other provinces on the Andaman coast and Thailand. The Expo is expected to generate 110,000 jobs, increase Thailand’s gross domestic product by 39.357 billion baht, and raise tax revenues by 9.512 billion baht. The Thai government is projecting a return-on-investment of 900%.
“Most importantly, Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand will spotlight Thailand and Phuket as a world-class destination and promote health and wellness tourism. We have started to prepare for our second country presentation in November when we hope to convince BIE of Phuket’s global appeal. Should Phuket succeed, it will the first time a world-class expo is being held in Southeast Asia. Let us all give our support to Phuket.”
Mr. Narong Wun Siew, the Governor of Phuket Province said: “The city of Phuket has worked closely with TCEB, Vachira Phuket Hospital, and public and private organisations since 2020 to prepare for the candidacy of Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand. To impress upon BIE’s Enquiry Mission Members, the extent of local support for the Expo, the city set up a provincial committee made up of representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society organisations, and local communities. These are the people who have helped raise awareness for the Expo, made preparations for the site, and compiled data in support of the project. They briefed the Enquiry Mission Members on the proposed site, future plans, legal matters, marketing plans, tourism infrastructure, and the province’s unique features that exemplify the Expo theme of ‘Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity’. We also emphasised how the site will be transformed into a world-class centre for health & wellness tourism and holistic healing when Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand is over, and how the global exposure gained in 2028 will continue to benefit the local economy long into the future. Apart from generating revenue for an estimated number of ten thousand million baht for Phuket, the Expo will allow us to fast-track infrastructure development and raise the Phuket’s capacity to host international events. The result is a better quality of life for residents of Phuket and adjacent provinces.”
Before the idea for Phuket to host the Expo was conceived, the Thai government had already initiated several projects to grow Phuket into a health and wellness destination. The core project is the World Medical and Wellness Center which will occupy much of the Expo site at Mai Khao Sub-District, Thalang District of Phuket. Post-expo, many of the Expo pavilions and structures will be re-developed into facilities according to the original master plan. These include an international medical and wellness centre, a convention centre, a public park for health and rehabilitation, an ecology-learning centre, and public spaces that promote physical and mental wellness. To organise Expo 2028 Phuket Thailand, the Thai government has approved the budget framework of 4.18 billion baht.
Other than Thailand, Argentina, Serbia, Spain and the USA are also vying to host an expo in 2028. BIE will reveal the finalists after the second country presentation in November and the winning host country in June 2023.