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Phuket’s international arrivals stabilise with Russians still leading the way

Arrival in Phuket airport

Tourism arrival numbers appear to have stabilised in Phuket during April after a drastic drop immediately after Songkran on the holiday island. Between February and the middle of April, the average tourist arrivals dropped around 20%. But from April 20 until the ned of the month there has been a welcome uptick in international arrivals which bodes well for the post-Songkran tourist traffic onto the island.

All through 2022, and especially in December and January, the tourism arrivals in Phuket have been steadily rising each month. 2022 was dominated by travellers from India and Malaysia, then from October it was Russian passengers arriving mostly on 45 day visa exemptions, a promotion the Thai government were running from October 2022 up the end of March 2023.

From April 1 – 26, the top 5 arrival demographics were…

• Russian – 56,583

• Chinese – 35,615

• Indian – 21,025

• Australian – 20,839

• UK – 15,773

For April, even through the arrivals continue to be dominated by Russian travellers, the Chinese arrivals are catching up quickly and predicted to dominate by the middle of this year. This follows what the Phuket Tourism Association describe as a successful tourism roadshow into China where Phuket’s tourism officials and industry players visited China to participate in travel expos and promotional events.

As Phuket enters the 2023 wet season from now on, tourism pundits are hoping the arrival numbers will stabilise and continue to grow throughout 2023 to catch up with the pre-Covid tourism traffic numbers.

Phuket airport international arrivals - Phuket Immigration

Phuket airport international arrivals – Phuket Immigration

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