The Phuket Tourist Association says the island can expect fewer international tourists this low season, due to a slowdown in the Chinese market, coupled with the collapse of an Indian discount airline.
Thaneth Tantipiriyakij, president of the PTA, says there are now only around 40 flights a day a day from China and the bankruptcy of low-cost Indian carrier Go First will also affect flight capacity. Go First was offering a lot of direct flights from India to Phuket prior to its recent collapse.
According to a Bangkok Post report, the PTA expects Phuket’s tourism market to see a recovery rate of just 50% of 2019 levels. Thaneth says tourism operators on the island are now targeting the Middle-East, including the Saudi market. He points out that Bangkok welcomes a number of direct flights from cities in Saudi Arabia, as Phuket does from Middle-East hubs such as Dubai and Qatar.
Meanwhile, the latest data from Phuket Immigration shows that the Russians continue to dominate when it comes to tourist numbers. Last month, the island welcomed 63,476 travellers from Russia, followed by China with 46,697, and India with 24,897.
Thanet points out that there are currently discussions taking place on Chinese social media platforms about a lack of “safety” when it comes to holidaying in Thailand. The PTA president says the Thai authorities need to address such comments if the country is to maintain the Chinese tourism market. The negative comments relate mainly to blatant rip-offs and zero-dollar tour operators.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post