Phuket is slated to have a second airport, in addition to the Phuket International Airport, while another one would be built in Phang Nga, The Bangkok Post reported on Friday.
The Thai media outlet reported that the government is going ahead with planned infrastructure projects aimed at promoting tourism in provinces along the Andaman coast, including tourism hotspots Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga, during Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s visit to Phuket on Friday to inspect the projects.
The construction of the second Phuket airport will come with a 5.8 billion baht (S$215 million) price tag, while the construction of an international airport in Phang Nga’s Takua Thung district will cost 80 billion baht, reported The Bangkok Post.
The Krabi airport will also get an upgrade, which will cost 2.7 billion baht.
Other infrastructure development projects in Phuket include the construction of the 3.98km Kathu-Patong expressway and the 30.26-km Muang Mai-Koh Kaew-Kathu expressway.
Thai transport minister Suriya Jungrungreankit had previously said his ministry was preparing to propose seven infrastructure projects worth 148 billion baht to improve land and air transport facilities in Phuket, including multiple highways, highway extensions, overpasses and the second Phuket airport.
During the visit on Friday, Mr Srettha was reported as saying that the tourism sector is crucial to revitalising the economy and that the government is ready to work with all stakeholders to improve the sector.
He said Phuket serves as a model for economic stimulus, as the island province can connect visitors to Krabi and Phang Nga, forming the Andaman coast tourism cluster.
A government spokesman for Mr Srettha also noted that each province in the cluster has its unique characteristics which can meet the needs of various groups of visitors.
Even though some development projects are already underway in Phuket, the government will try to ensure during its four-year term that development in the province continues without interruption, the spokesman added.
“The government is ready to support the projects… The projects will be sped up to welcome tourists,” he said.
“The prime minister also instructed relevant agencies to ensure visitors to Phuket are safe and happy from the moment they set foot on the island until they leave.”