PHUKET: Chinese New Year festivities saw occupancy at registered Phuket hotels hit 99%, despite a projected overall year-on-year decrease in occupancy in the first quarter, said Krisada Tansakul, vice president of Phuket Tourist Association (PTA).
In anticipation of a slight downturn in traditional Western markets, many hotels on the island set aside rooms at prices designed to target the Chinese market, explained Mr Krisada.
“We have seen a 5-10% year-on-year increase in Chinese tourists during the festival period,” Mr Krisada said. “However, we are expecting to see the amount of revenue generated to be less than in 2014, due to Chinese tourists spending less per capita than Western tourists.”
The increase in Chinese tourists might also have been affected by the increase in the number of direct flights from China, Mr Krisada added.
“This level of occupancy started on February 17, and is expected to continue until February 26,” said Sarayuth Mallam, PTA vice president.
— Kongleaphy Keam