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Phuket expecting surge in tourists for Songkran

PHOTO: Flickr/Zulfikar Aleksandri

1 day to go… Phuket is expecting a surge in tourism during Songkran, with numbers expected to be 30% higher than in 2019. The Bangkok Post reports that tourism officials are confident domestic tourism will generate around 4.5 billion baht in revenue.

Lertchai Wangtrakuldee, director of the Phuket office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand says 85% of hotel room vacancies have been filled for the Songkran holiday period.

“It is expected that 4.5 billion baht’s worth of revenue will be generated during that period. Even though tourists from Europe and the US are returning to their countries, domestic tourists are flocking to Phuket.”

Lertchai believes the government’s domestic travel subsidy scheme, introduced during the pandemic, will see tourist numbers surpass those of Covid-19 days. The scheme is currently in its fifth phase, which kicked off in March and runs until the end of this month.

In addition to domestic tourism, Lertchai says Phuket continues to target “high-end” international tourists, adding that the top 3 nationalities currently visiting the island are Russians, Chinese and Indians, respectively.

During the Songkran holiday, the authorities will prepare dedicated water play areas, including at the Central Department Store, the Limelight Avenue Department Store, and at a number of the island’s beaches.

Meanwhile, the southern province of Phang Nga has reported a surge in both Thai and foreign tourists visiting the Surin and Similan islands. Bookings for hotels, restaurants, and boat trips are all up, with local businesses saying tourist numbers between February and April have surpassed 2022 figures.

Uthit Limsakul, director of the TAT’s Phang Nga office, expects hotel occupancy to reach around 80% during Songkran, with most visitors coming from Germany, Sweden, and Israel.

The province also continues to be popular with Thai tourists from Bangkok and neighbouring Phuket. Uthit adds that while Thai tourists spend an average of around 4,700 baht a day, that figure increases to 7,500 baht in the case of foreign tourists.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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