“Phuket, also called ‘The Andaman pearl” has always been considered as the major tourism Hub in the South of Thailand. Absorbing almost a third of the 35.4 million tourists who visited Thailand in 2017, Phuket benefits from one of the most vigorous economic and demographic growth in the Siam Kingdom. The major characteristic demonstrated by research on Phuket economy and tourism is a clear tendency to become a year-long destination, with, year after year a slimmer gap between high and low season. Nowadays the main question is to know how Phuket will take advantage of this exponential growth? To answer this question, please find here the five projects that will transform Phuket.

1. CENTRAL PHUKET

To respond to a regular increase in Phuket tourism and also Phuket tendency to attract more and more expats and retirees, Central Phuket Group invested more than 20 Billion Baht in the creation of an international standard shopping mall, which welcomed its first visitors on 10 September 2018. In the heart of Phuket and located on the main road, Central Phuket covers more than 400,000 square meters. Central Phuket counts with more than 700 shops and has nothing to envy to the biggest Shopping malls of Bangkok. The most famous shops are CDS, Central Food Hall, Top market, Power buy, Supersports, B2S, OfficeMate, SFX Cinema at Aquaria. To fit with Phuket leading position in the south of Thailand, Central Phuket has been designed and built
to be the biggest and most attractive shopping mall in the whole south. The idea behind Central Phuket projects is to create more than a shopping place but an attractive destination for Phuket visitors from all over the world.

To do so, CPN can count on 3 new concepts:

– The Mystic Forest’, is the first creation of a wonderland paradise of the future, combining advanced technology with Thai culture and a green zone area. The activities available on over 5
rai of land include ‘Adventure’ and ‘Relax’ zones. It will be a must-visit destination for visitors from around the world.

– ‘Aquaria’ is CPN’s first partnership between Thailand and Malaysia to create a world-class attraction. It will have the largest underwater world in Thailand and the largest ‘Aquascape’ in
Thailand.

– Tales of Thailand’, another first: a floating market at the shopping centre, where people can shop, browse and chill out with a traditional Thai floating market atmosphere. [source]

2. PHUKET LIGHT RAIL

The general consensus regarding the future of Phuket is clear and all indicators are pointing toward a constant growth fed by tourism, therefore the benefits of this new generation light rail project are evident.

Phuket Light Rail will allow Phuket to absorb the sharp increase in the number of visitors expected in the next coming years and make the roads of Phuket more fluid avoiding traffic jams. This project will also tremendously help the 9.2 millions of passengers landing in Phuket airport each year to reach their final destination in Phuket in a faster and cheaper manner.
This project will bring a radical change to the transport organization around the island by covering more than 58 Km of railway with 24 stations from the North of Phuket, passing by Phuket airport and finally reaching Chalong.

Born through a fusion between the private and public sectors the total budget for this project reaches 39.4 billion baht and is considered as a very positive sign by locals and foreign investors showing that both sectors agree on an exponential increase expected on the number of visitors and long-term residents in Phuket and both private and public sectors make big investments to capitalize on this growth. The Beginning of the construction is scheduled in 2020 and the project will be fully operational in 2023.

3. PHUKET SMART BUS

Expected for a long time and finally completed in last April, the main goal of this project is also to make the traffic more fluid around Phuket. Launched in 2006 by an alliance of 25 Investors and key members of the most influent families in Phuket business, Phuket Smart Bus Ltd (PKSB) created the first public bus transportation network around the west coast of Phuket. This smart bus network will count on 12 bus stops between the International Airport down to Rawai Pier and operates in both ways giving a new transport option for the millions of tourists reaching Phuket
each year via the international airport.

With an affordable cost varying between 50 to 170 THB depending on the distance, it is now possible for locals and tourists to use the bus network from 06:45 to 19:15. Using last generation technology, the payment can be done with a Rabbit Smart Card sold by hostesses on board and also in numerous shops all around Phuket and Thailand.

4. NEW PHUKET MARINA

A brand new high tech marina announced for Phuket. The company SUTL Ltd specialized in the creation and development of marinas and marine infrastructures reached an agreement on the purchase of 60% Makham Bay Marina (MBM) shares for a total of 5.6 million dollars. MBM possesses construction and development permits and ownership or the concerned area for 30
years. The total cost for this high tech marina construction is estimated at 24,3 million dollars. This luxury marina will have all the necessary equipment to welcome superyachts up to 61 meters long: marine sports infrastructures, well-being and relaxation areas and hotel rooms for yacht staffs and visitors.


Developed under “One15” brand, this project will cover more than 38 400 square meters and 66 hotel rooms with 4 villas, a gym centre, swimming pool, meeting room and multiple restaurants.
Located in a naturally sheltered area this marina will be opened 24/24 without any tide restriction and will be a central point for numerous tourism routes around neighbouring islands such as Koh Phiphi, Similan islands…

Local experts agree on the fact that the strategic location choice for this luxury marina demonstrates the clear intention of the Thai government to promote and develop Phuket as a top destination for yachts and superyachts from all around the world bringing with them lots of wealthy tourists gladly welcomed by the local real estate and business owners.

 

5. PHUKET SMART CITY

In agreement with Thailand 4.0 project to develop Thailand digital economy, the Thai government is investing in the creation and development of local infrastructures and revisits rules and regulation that could be slowing down investment opportunities.


The last occurrence in the application of Thailand 4.0 is without any doubt the creation of the Phuket Smart City concept which aims at making Phuket more productive, enjoyable and safer.
Following Ambition of the Digital Economy minister to transform Phuket in ”Smart city”. Phuket will, in the near future, grow to 1000 the number of Wifi hotspots around the island to make it easier for people to get internet access and use connected devices.

The whole Phuket province could soon see foreign tourists equipped with connected bracelets to locate them in case of dangers or accidents and also in order to collect data to allow Phuket to offer better and adjusted services.

These bracelets will also be very useful tools to collect data about the economy, health, education, security and the environment. In order for Phuket to stay a safe city despite the increase in tourism, it has also been announced the development of facial recognition to prevent crime and criminality. Phuket Smart City will also be developed through cooperation between the Thai government and private firms which will also participate in the strong local growth and attract investors willing to benefit from Phuket economic and touristic expansion.