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Phuket preparing for a surge in Songkran visitors


Water pistols ready? Icy-cold water ready? It’s almost Songkran time.

Phuket is gearing up for a busy Songkran holiday, with over a quarter of a million visitors expected with forward bookings for flights and accommodations well ahead of the 2023 figures.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says the island can expect to welcome around 265,000 visitors, generating an estimated 7 billion baht in revenue. Lertchai Wangtrakuldee, Phuket TAT director, says the island will be busy between April 12 and 16 and high levels of congestion are expected.

The Bangkok Post reports that hotel occupancy is already at nearly 80%. A TAT survey of 2,069 establishments shows an occupancy rate of 79% for 111,427 rooms, with each visitor averaging 5 nights.

The Russians continue to lead the way in terms of visitor numbers, with around 5,000 arrivals a day. They’re followed by the Chinese, with around 2,000 visitors a day.

Tourism officials are also seeing an increase in arrivals from Europe, in particular, Germany, England and Kazakhstan. Kazakh tourists can currently enter the country visa-free under a Thai government incentive running until August 31.

According to Lertchai, there has been a slight drop in Indian visitors to Phuket, with more of them opting instead for nearby provinces such as Krabi. However, the TAT expects to see a rise in visitors from the Middle East, in addition to more domestic tourists, over the Songkran period.

Phuket will hold a number of Songkran ceremonies and other events, in locations such as Saphan Hin Bridge, Phuket Old Town, and Patong Beach.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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