Phuket hits last lap in bid for Expo 2028
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Phuket hits last lap in bid for Expo 2028

Many Thais are crossing their fingers in the hope that Phuket is selected to host the Specialised Expo 2028, as the final presentation and vote draws near.

A Thai delegation will get to make their final pitch to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on June 21.

They will make the case for why the southern resort island province deserves to host the expo and find out when voting will be held to pick the winner, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), said on Wednesday.

The theme proposed by Thailand for the expo is "Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity", which will require a budget of around 4.18 billion baht, he said. The event will take place from March 21 to June 20, 2028.

The event is expected to draw about 7 million visitors from 106 countries, he said. It is likely to help generate up to 50 billion baht in economic value, he added.

Moreover, the expo will serve as a core part of Thailand's plan to promote its health and medical tourism, with the resort island being upgraded to a key health and medical tourism city of global standing, Mr Chiruit said.

Phuket is seen as one of four cities running neck-and-neck in the final round of the race to be selected to host the 2028 expo, he said, adding the other cities that have made it this far are the Serbian capital of Belgrade, Spain's Barcelona and Minnesota in the United States.

"The final presentation isn't something we are worried about, but rather the vote," he said.

More than 120 member nations of the BIE will cast their votes, he said.

"Keep your fingers crossed and we will see if Phuket can win the selection or not."

Chiruit: Making final pitch on June 21

The BIE's selection committee previously visited Phuket to inspect its readiness to be selected, he said.

If Thailand emerges from the vote triumphant, it will become the first country in Southeast Asia to host the expo thus far.

Pattanachai Singhavara, director of the TCEB's southern region office, said a night reception will be organised in Paris on June 16 for the BIE member countries and for Thailand to convince them that Phuket is ready to become the host of the expo.

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