Carnival Magic added to Phuket's offerings

FantaSea prepares for tourist surge

Mr Pin says his company believes in using the best products at the largest scale for success. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyathep)

Phuket FantaSea, a subsidiary of Safari World, the country's biggest theme park operator, is set to open its 5-billion-baht Carnival Magic next year as a new magnet to draw tourists to Phuket.

Pin Kewkacha, the company's chairman of the executive board, said Carnival Magic Theme Park began construction three years ago on 100 rai next to the existing Phuket FantaSea theme park.

"Some 22 years ago when the company opened Phuket FantaSea, there were only 2 million tourists in Phuket per year, but arrivals there have grown to 13 million per year," said Mr Pin.

"We expect tourists to Phuket will increase to over 20 million in five years."

He said in 22 years of operation there, Phuket FantaSea has weathered dozens of crises, but he still believes in the future of the island.

"We've seen continuous growth in tourism for many islands across the world, from Bali and Hong Kong to the Maldives and Hawaii," said Mr Pin.

"We believe using the best products at the largest scale will bring us success."

New theme park developments in Phuket have promise as there is little competition relative to other entertainment offerings.

Carnival Magic is the third theme park under Safari World Group, established 33 years ago.

"Carnival Magic is the world's first permanent night-light theme park," he said.

"We want it to become an exciting landmark tourist destination in Asia that promotes Thai culture."

Carnival Magic is the brainchild of Kittikorn Kewkacha, Mr Pin's oldest son.

The theme park is run by Carnival Magic Co, which was set up to operate Carnival Magic on Kamala Beach in Phuket province.

"Carnival Magic is my dream project and a gift to the people of Phuket and everyone in Thailand. We sincerely hope it will become a new, wonder-filled destination that all visitors will enjoy and all Thais can be proud of," said Mr Kittikorn, chief executive of Carnival Magic.

"Carnival Magic will help create jobs, stimulating the local economy and ultimately boosting the local tourism industry."

Carnival Magic consists of four main zones, including a carnival-themed street fair and an air-conditioned gala buffet restaurant that can accommodate over 3,000 visitors in three separate private dining halls.

The venue also has a theatre with seats for about 2,000 guests, gardens and landscapes decorated with over 40 million lights.

Mr Pin said the company will spend about 150 million baht to promote all three theme parks next year.

Carnival Magic aims for international clients to make up 70% of customers, with locals making up the rest.

The company expects to attract more than 1 million tourists per year with projected earnings of over 1.5 billion baht per year.