THE Thailand Tennis Association has chosen Koh Samui out of three possible Thailand destinations for famous tennis player Rafael Nadal to spend a holiday before he plays in the PTT Thailand Open 2009 scheduled on Sept. 26 - Oct. 4. The tennis association president, Suwat Liptapanlop, disclosed that Mr. Nadal had confirmed his participation in the Thailand Open, saying the tennis superstar "asked us to send him (air fare) ticket."
To promote tourism in Thailand, the association decided to bring Nadal to a local destination before his match takes place. Mr. Suwat said he chose Samui over Krabi and Phuket since Samui "is a superb destination to promote."
"We chose Koh Samui because personally Nadal likes to play golf and go fishing, and Samui is perfect for these activities." Suwat added.
Phanu Woramit, head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Suratthani, said he was excited over the coming of the 23-year-old No. 1 ranking tennis player because Samui would get a wide publicity. The visit, he added, would add to the island’s reputation as a place that famous icons want to visit.
American pop singer Britney Spears was also reported to have chosen Samui to spend a much-needed rest for her and her crew after her successful "comeback tour" of Europe.
No date for her visit has, however, been given as she wants to safeguard her privacy.