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Phuket’s economy is more than just tourism

Bill Barnett

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by Bill Barnett

While Phuket’s brand and economic reality is that nearly half of its contribution to GPP (gross provincial product) comes from tourism is true, it’s important to understand that there are other generators that will aid in the island’s post-crisis recovery.

The island’s real estate sector, that currently has a market value of over 100 billion baht (according to data from FazWaz) in primary and secondary properties for sale, demonstrates the scale and contribution to employment and services.

It’s not all about tourism.

According to our newly completed Phuket Economic Overview by C9 Hotelworks, 87% of foreign work permits as issued to nationals of Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar and are highly leveraged in commercial construction, real estate and hospitality. Other nationalities total 9,835 work permits across the broader economic strata.

International schools, attracting both local and foreign residents, Thais from Bangkok and regional expatriate families, represent almost 4,000 students. Thailand’s non-immigrant ED-dependent visas also have an allowance for parents of students under 20 years of age to obtain a visa, which waterfalls into the property and services sector as well.

Other key demand-generators include international standard hospitals, marinas and a growing retail marketplace. While these have a linkage to tourism, their underpinned recurring cash flows are from full and part time residents, both Thai and foreign.

Post-crisis, Phuket’s scale of services, education, health and wellness, real estate, retirement and sports is likely to see growth as a result of a shift in trends towards quality of life in a resort type island community.

Mounting concern in Bangkok and other Asian gateway CBD areas over air pollution for families with school age children is another macro element that makes Phuket an alternative home base. This is further amplified with the new norm of working remotely and video networking.

Phuket, like most of the world for the remainder of 2020 and in the medium term, will be challenged economically, but the notion that the future is hinged only on tourism is wrong, once you get beyond the beach and look at other scalable business models.

To read and download the C9 Hotelworks Phuket Economic Overview, click HERE.

Phuket's economy is more than just tourism | News by Thaiger Phuket's economy is more than just tourism | News by Thaiger

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    foot

    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    This is a joke, right?
    Ask yourself this question. If there was no tourism in Phuket, what would be the source of income?
    Tin mines? Rice? Rubber? Coal? Gold?
    And, with no income, how long would the hotels and condos last?

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Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements and is continually gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

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