If Phuket isn’t already a shopping mecca, with its many malls and markets selling everything from boutique fashion, to antiques, to locally produced herbs and spices, then it is set to become such as Central Festival Phuket plans an expansion reportedly worth approximately 20 billion baht.
The plans are set to make Central Festival Phuket a shopping and lifestyle paradise, and the owners of the mall are looking to include a huge sea-life aquarium, a stunning botanical garden, a 5-star hotel in which visitors to the area can stay, and a luxurious new shopping complex which the owners hope will attract visitors from all over South East Asia and beyond.
The Blue Pearl Project has also been announced, and looks set to be the main competitor for the Central Festival.
Central Festival’s expansion plans also include for an international exhibition centre which can be used to host expos as well as holding conferences.
The main reason for this expansion is down to the sheer number of visitors that Phuket enjoys on a yearly basis. The aim of both of these projects is not only an expansion of existing tourist attractions (or new attractions in the case of the Blue Pearl Project) but also a way of bolstering existing trade in Phuket, which will see economic growth in the area soar as jobs are created, businesses are opened and new forms of lodgings are built to accommodate the estimated 20 million visitors expected to come to the island over the next 5 years.
As mentioned in our July blog, the estimated number of departures and arrivals to Phuket International Airport is expected to exceed 12.5 million, which is why there are also plans to expand the airport itself with a new international terminal amongst the improvements. Currently the single runway airport can only handle the 12.5 million passengers it currently deals with, so expansion will be welcomed by the tourist industry here.
The island is already furnished by some wonderful shopping experiences. The current largest collection of malls and markets on the island is situated in Patong which holds a number of luxury department stores. Visitors are encouraged to peruse the markets in Patong also which sell a range of wares at bargain prices. Shopping in Patong markets can be great fun for tourists as they can haggle with traders to get the lowest prices for goods.
Other market areas include Patak Road in Karon, which is similar to the market in Patong, only on a smaller scale and Taina Road in Kata, which holds a number of shops and market areas and is situated near to the Jurassic-based attraction, Dino Park.
A great deal of luxury items can be bought here in the malls on Phuket, from perfume to sunglasses and branded clothing like Lacoste. Definitely worth a visit as who doesn’t like to treat themselves from time-to-time!