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lrodk
05-08-2001, 12:20 AM
The following article in yesterday's Bangkok Post reports on a proposed deal that could eventually bring to life a Disneyland Thailand experience.

"A senator wants to bring Disneyland and Universal Studios parks to the arid area of Thung Kula Rong Hai Plain, which straddles several northeastern provinces.

He claims Disney has shown a positive reaction and will give a final answer in two weeks.

Suradej Yasawat, a Phayao senator and chairman of the senate committee on tourism, said he had contacted Disney Theme Park Development Division of Walt Disney Co, to propose the Plain of Nomads' Tears as a location for its amusement park, and that the company had expressed keen interest.

"I have written to executives of Disney Theme Park Development to inquire about their investment interest in Thailand. They said they have been very interested for a long time. In fact, they had contacted the government many years ago but the administration had had too many conditions. "More importantly, they had been concerned about corruption and kickbacks, so they scrapped the plan," he said.

Mr Suradej said he had explained to Disney that the current government would need to renegotiate the project because it could help stimulate the economy.

Thung Kula Rong Hai was suitable, he said. The plain, which covers 2.1 million rai (3,360sqkm) in Roi-et, Maha Sarakham, Surin and Si Sa Ket provinces, could easily accommodate a Disneyland park of about 10,000 rai (16sqkm).

Cheap land rent and labour would be attractive for such a project while there were enough quality hotels in the Northeast to serve visitors, he said.

"More importantly, the cheap cost of living in Thailand will be a strong point. A lot of tourists cannot visit Tokyo Disneyland because of the high cost of living there," he said.

Mr Suradej proposed a part of Thung Kula Rong Hai in Roi-et to Disney. He said an area of 100,000 rai (160sqkm) in Roi-et was suitable because it could not be developed for agriculture.

He confirmed that a Disney representative had contacted him last week saying most executives at Disney Theme Park Development were interested in the proposal and would decide in two weeks if it should conduct a feasibility study on a Thai Disneyland.

Mr Suradej also said initial talks with the representative led him to believe that Thailand might indeed have a Disneyland, as Disney was unsuccessful in its amusement park in France and had outdated amusement machines to be replaced in the US.

"Tourists have become bored with old attractions and the development division is inventing new equipment. If they think Thailand is a suitable location, they may move the [old] machines to Thailand," he said.

Mr Suradej said he had also sent a similar proposal to Universal Studios in the US.

"Such projects will create jobs for Thai people and attract investment and tourists to the country," he said."

HorizonsFan
05-08-2001, 01:32 AM
Hmmmm...

The concept of being able to install new ride systems while continuing to make money from the ones that were replaced is very interesting. I wonder if there are other countries that would be interested in a "second hand" Disney park? Could be a win-win idea...

YoHo
05-08-2001, 12:31 PM
I wonder how likely this really is though.
1: Hong Kong is underway which would be close, combined with Tokyo, would a 3rd really be needed, even in the Asian/PAcific rim?
2: Thialands tourism industry hardly appeals to DIsney sensabilities. Where the police routinly pick up the dead bodies of tourists each mourning who have expireanced too much of Thialands Sex and Drugs. It makes Amsterdam seem positivly wholesome.

Werner Weiss
05-08-2001, 01:26 PM
Bangkok is about 3 hours from Hong Kong and over 6 hours from Tokyo. (For perspective, New York to Paris is around 7 hours.)

Thailand has a thriving tourist industry based on beach resorts, eco-tourism, and exotic culture. (Thailand tourism isn't just about sex and drugs.) For example, there are all sorts of spectacular beach resorts around ****et Island (pronounced Pooh-ket), about a 90 minute flight from Bangkok. Currently Marriott is building a new J.W. Marriott Resort and a Marriott Vacation Club on ****et.

Now, despite what I just wrote, I wouldn't count on a Disney theme park resort in Thailand.

I wonder how many times per year Disney is approached by governments -- national, regional, and local -- from every inhabited continent? Sometimes, like this time, there's a press announcement. But I would imagine that hardly a week goes by that Michael Eisner doesn't get a letter from some politician suggesting that the ideal location for the next Disney park resort would be wherever that politician is from.

Werner Weiss
05-08-2001, 06:25 PM
I see that the naughty words filter replaced part of the Thai resort island's name with with asterisks.

The name of the island is P-h-u-k-e-t. And, it's pronounced "Pooh-ket." Let's see how the filter handles this post.

Honestly, I wasn't using any naughty words.