Senior government officials in Thailand voiced their overwhelming support and underlying hopes for the two inaugural Asian Tour events that will be played on Phuket Island during a virtual press conference today.
The Blue Canyon Phuket Championship 2021 and the Laguna Phuket Championship 2021 ‒ both boasting prizemoney of US$1 million ‒ have been dubbed the “Asian Tour’s Phuket Series” and will be part of a series of four events which will bring the 2020-21 season to a close.
The former will be played at Blue Canyon Country Club from November 25 to 28, while the latter will be staged at Laguna Golf Phuket from December 2 to 5.
Restoring public confidence, welcoming international tourists, and supporting international events and sports tourism are high on their priority list.
“Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Thailand and the rest of the world, the Thai government has prioritized restoring confidence in its public with a number of domestic projects, including sport tourism activities with strictly preventive procedures for health and safety,” said Mr. Siraphop Duangsodsri, Advisor to Minister of Tourism and Sports.
“Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Sports Authority of Thailand, and related agencies have joined hands to organize international sporting events to prove that Thailand is ready to host tournaments under both central and regional administrations, especially the tourism destinations like Phuket Province. Thailand also intends to boost its public health safety requirements to international standards in order to welcome tourists back once the COVID-19 crisis has been resolved.”
Sport Authority of Thailand, one of the events partners, are also excited about the opportunities that the events will bring.
Said Dr. Nittaya Kerdjuntuk, Director of Office of the Professional Sports Committee, Sports Authority of Thailand: “The Sports Authority of Thailand has consistently supported local and international sporting events, and we are confident that Thailand has significant potential to host international tournaments in this region, particularly in terms of the effectiveness of organizing sporting events in the current COVID-19 situation. The fact that top international golfers have signed up to compete in these two golf tournaments demonstrates the success of Thai professional golf as well as the international acceptance of our preventive measures.”
Jazz Janewattananond, the 2019 Order of Merit champion, has confirmed he will compete in the Phuket events. The Thai star ‒ currently in fifth place on the Merit list ‒ is vying to become the first player in Tour history to clinch back-to-back Merit crowns.
“I am convinced these two events will help Thailand as a whole and boost Phuket’s economy in a variety of ways, including hotel and restaurant businesses and local employment,” said Mr. Pichet Panapong, Vice Governor of Phuket Province.
“More importantly, these sporting events will aid in the promotion of Phuket Province’s readiness and demonstrate the effectiveness of the Phuket SandBox Program in welcoming and caring for tourists while maintaining public health safety standards. This can instill trust in travelers visiting Phuket to enjoy the island’s natural features, art, and cultural destinations, as well as its unique way of life that tourists from all over the world dream of experiencing.”
In January, following the Christmas and New Year breaks, the Tour is planning to stage two more tournaments in Singapore over consecutive weeks.
This will allow the Tour to complete its Order of Merit and crown an Order of Merit champion.
All four tournaments will be broadcast live on television with further details to be announced soon.