“…around 60% of Phuket’s private tourism operators are back in business…”
The Phuket Tourist Association says there’s no news yet on when China might allow outbound tourism to resume, but it’s expected to happen soon after Chinese quarantine rules were lifted from early January. PTA advisory chairman Bhumikitti Ruktaengam says it’s likely the first Chinese tourists could return to Phuket at the end of the first quarter neat year.
The PTA believes Chinese New Year (January 22) would be too early to see restrictions on outbound travel lifted, given that the holiday falls in the first month next year. Another challenge is that China is currently in the grip of a surge in Covid-19 infections since restrictions were suddenly eased in a recent government U-turn.
According to a Bangkok Post report, Bhumikitti points out that Phuket also needs to address certain issues before tourism fully rebounds on the island.
These include the ongoing labour shortage in hotels, spas, airlines, and at immigration offices. The PTA also wants to see cooperation between the public and private sectors in order to increase the number of flights from major Chinese cities.
Bhumikitti also wants the process for renewing tour guide licences accelerated and work carried out to prepare digital payment technologies. In addition, he points out that signs and instructions need to be made available in Chinese, to make life easier for visitors from China.
At the moment, around 60% of Phuket’s private tourism operators are back in business and Bhumikitti believes that if Chinese tourists return soon, the other 20% of businesses suspended during the pandemic could follow.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post