Phuket was Thailand’s top tourist spot this year

PHUKET, THAILAND- JAN 23, 2016: Crowds of tourists at Patong beach on Jan 23, 2016 in Phuket, Thailand. Phuket is a popular destination famous for its beaches.

The world-renowned island province of Phuket was Thailand’s top tourism spot in the first 10 months of 2022. From January to October, Phuket drew 2.32 million international tourists to its shores, followed by Chon Buri with 975,026 tourists, Surat Thani with 606,812 tourists, Songkhla with 581,808 tourists, and Chiang Mai with 496,111 tourists.

Deputy government spokesperson Tipanan Sirichana said today that Phuket generated the most tourism income out of any province, with 127.9 billion baht. This was followed by Chonburi with 13.2 billion baht, Surat Thani with 7.5 billion baht, and Chiang Mai with 4.2 billion baht, and Songkhla with 3.6 billion baht.

Tipanan noted that Thai people’s cooperation on strong public health measures has “helped the tourism industry bounce back in a V-shaped recovery and attracted 10 million visitors before the year-end.”

Tipaphan said that since the launch of the ‘Phuket Sandbox,’ the island province has gradually recovered from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Thailand welcomed its 10 millionth visitor this year on December 10, Nation Thailand reported. According to the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thailand is on course to attract around 11 million tourists this year.

In Phuket, Russians are currently the biggest tourist group. In November, Phuket saw 55,097 Russian tourists arriving on its shores. The second largest tourist group in Phuket that month came from India, with 26,525 travellers, according to Phuket Immigration.

Chartered flights to Phuket and Pattaya are being filled by Russian tourists. Less than two weeks after Russian airlines made their triumphant return to Phuket, Aeroflot announced an increase in direct flights to the island. The flagship airline of Russia made known on November 12 that it would be adding 14 new flights a week from Russia to Phuket.

In Thailand overall, the top 10 foreign visitors by nationality in 10 months have been: Malaysian (1.29 million), Indian (698,757), Singaporean (381,940), Laotian (345,709), Vietnamese (340,670), South Korean (316,240), United Kingdom (291,753), United States (283,211), Cambodian (252,862) and German (235,596).

Despite all it’s been through with Covid’s devastating impact on tourism, Phuket seems to have maintained its world-famous reputation as an island hotspot for holidaymakers.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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