Chinese tourists have descended on Phuket to celebrate Chinese New Year, pushing hotel occupancy on the island to 81%. Thai PBS World reports that Chinese visitors in the kingdom have also joined Thais in Bangkok’s Chinatown to mark the holiday.
Phuket has long been a popular destination for Chinese travellers due its strong Chinese heritage and ancestry.
The director of the Phuket office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the number of Chinese arrivals has jumped to between 4,000 and 5,000 a day. Lertchai Wangtrakuldee says this is the highest number of arrivals of any nationality and the island expects to see revenue of 6.8 billion baht from the holiday period.
This year, the Chinese New Year’s Day fell on February 9, with around 70,000 foreign and Thai tourists in Phuket that day.
Meanwhile, for some Chinese arrivals visiting Mangkon Temple in Bangkok, it was their first time celebrating the holiday in Thailand.
In addition to paying their respects at the Chinese temple, they were able to try some street food, declaring tom yum pla and phad phak bung (fried morning glory) to be their favourite dishes.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World