Things are finally looking up for Phuket’s tourism sector, which is expected to see over 100 billion baht in revenue over the New Year period. Bhumikitti Ruktaengam from the Phuket Tourist Association says the island is definitely on the rebound, with average hotel occupancy at 70% at popular tourist beaches such as Nai Harn, Kata, Karon, and Patong.
According to a Bangkok Post report, Bhumikitti says Phuket normally contributes around 35% of Thailand’s tourism revenue, but this could rise to 38%, thanks to the full re-opening of the island and an increase in the number of direct flights.
Also feeling optimistic is Thaneth Tantipiriyakij, president of the Phuket Tourism Council and Phuket Tourist Association, as he calls on Thai tourists to avail of phase 5 of the Rao Tiew Duay Kan (“We Travel Together”) campaign to visit Phuket over the New Year holiday.
According to Thaneth, most of the tourists currently on the island are Russian (150,000), followed by Indian visitors (70,000). However, the Europeans are also returning, particularly those from the very cold Scandinavian countries.
He adds that tourism revenue on the island is now at about 60% of pre-pandemic levels.
Tourism officials are also planning an off-season campaign that will target the Indian and Australian markets, in addition to China, where the government has announced that quarantine will be lifted from January 8.
Meanwhile, Thaneth has called on the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation to help private sector businesses with their 2023 targeted destination marketing. The PPAO is also expected to help with tourism campaigns targeting the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.
Tourism officials are also expected to attend the International Tourism Exchange trade fair, to promote the full re-opening of Phuket to international tourists.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post