Phuket hotels thrive amid economic uncertainty, thanks to diverse visitor base

Image by Carlos Castilla

Phuket hotels are showing resilience amid a sluggish European economy and a weak British pound, with Laguna Phuket setting sights on its best high season yet. This optimism is fuelled by the return of Chinese tourists and a rebound in international travel demand.

Paul Wilson, who holds the position of Vice-President and Deputy Managing Director at Laguna Phuket, revealed that the island’s hotels are experiencing solid demand from diverse markets. Wilson noted that fluctuations in currency rates did not impact leisure tourism as it did property sales and investment, which require considerable fund transfers.

According to Wilson, certain tourist segments remained resilient in the face of economic slowdown and inflation. These individuals still possess disposable income and maintain their travel demands.

“People are still keen to spend for memorable experiences.”

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The majority of hotel rooms under Laguna Phuket, which encompasses eight hotels and resorts, have reportedly performed better than in 2019. This upward trend is expected to be upheld through the high season in the final quarter.

“Broadly speaking, we are exceeding our best year.”

The pandemic has brought about changes to the island’s demographics, resulting in a more diverse visitor base. Less reliance on the Chinese market has been observed, with more guests arriving from the Middle East and Europe.

Wilson also pointed out that tourists are now staying longer, with Russians among those extending their stay, partially due to the conflict in Ukraine. Additionally, many tourists now book rooms directly with hotels, a move that has boosted direct income.

Wilson is optimistic that the visa-free scheme for Chinese tourists, effective from Monday, September 25 until February, will further bolster Chinese demand, alongside robust domestic travel. He urged the new government to promote Phuket as a multifaceted tourism destination, encompassing health and medical tourism, business meetings, and sports tourism.

Laguna Phuket is set to host the 29th Laguna Phuket Triathlon on November 19, traditionally one of the first events on the island to kickstart the festive season.

“The event hopes to attract more than 1,200 athletes and 2,000 visitors from 30 countries.”

Danai Sunantarod, Vice-Governor of Phuket, reported that the province welcomed over six million international tourists, generating 200 billion baht in the first seven months of this year alone. He reassured that the province is prepared to accommodate tourists during the upcoming high season, with Phuket airport expected to be fully operational in October.

The airport is slated to host 300-400 flights daily, rising from the current 250 flights per day, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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