Connect with us


Euro snow will not stall Phuket tourism



Euro snow will not stall Phuket tourism | Thaiger

PHUKET: The heavy snowfalls that forced airports across Europe to close this week are only a short-term problem and will not dramatically affect Phuket tourism, say key local industry figures.

Suchart Hirankanokkul, president of the Thai Hotels Association (Southern Chapter), told the Gazette he didn’t think the airport closures would result in mass booking cancellations.

“The heavy snow in Europe may have a slight effect on hotels in Phuket as tourists may have to delay their arrivals,” he said.

“Most will not cancel their bookings, but just check-in late due to the incident. This is not as serious as the Iceland volcanic ash cloud [in April]. That had much a greater impact; flights stopped for weeks. I think this [the snowbound airports] will last only two or three days,” he added.

Bangornrat Shinaprayoon, director of the TAT South Region 4 Office in Phuket Town, agreed.

“I think this is just temporary. After the snow storms stop, the flights will start again. I do not think there will be a huge effect on tourism here. The flights are just delayed,” she said.

“It is different from the volcanic ash incident, where the airports were closed for a long time. This is just a short-term problem,” the director added.

Dr Sirichai Silapa-archa, chairman of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, had a brighter outlook on the current scenario.

“I think the airport closures in Europe is good news for us. I believe that once the airports reopen, more travelers will want to leave their home countries to escape the cold winter,” he said.

Of greater concern was the fall in bookings due to the stronger baht.

Bookings for December reflect about 70% occupancy, down from the 72% occupancy enjoyed in December last year.

“The number of bookings from Europe [this year] is quite low. European tourists have to pay more [to come to Thailand] because the economic situation in Europe is not good and the Thai baht is strong,” said Mr Suchart.

“Some tourists are booking for one week instead of two weeks, like they used to, causing an overall fall in the bookings [for December],” he explained

Director Bangornrat again agreed. “The strong baht has made their [holiday] expenses higher. They have to pay more to come here. That’s why many may put off their plans to come,” she said.

Bhuritt Maswongsa, vice-president of marketing at the Phuket Tourist Association, said a downturn in arrivals from Europe was largely compensated by increases in arrivals from several emerging source countries.

The industry analyst said China, Korea, Australia, Russia, Malaysia and Singapore were the main sources of inbound tourists.

He also listed Australia, China, Russia, Korea, the Middle East and India as the fastest-growing markets, in that order.

The local government needs to do more to ensure tourists that good evacuation procedures are in place to carry out a tsunami evacuation in the unlikely event one were to become necessary, he added..

This was important because media reports of predictions, attributed to Dr Smith Dhammasaroja and a Bangkok-based astrologer, that a tsunami would strike the island on December 30 had harmed tourist confidence, he said.

“Of course nobody can predict a tsunami, but we have to do better public relations to assure people that we are prepared if one does strike,” he said.

— Janpen Upatising & Stephen Fein


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Crime13 hours ago

Fans stage simulation of Tangmo’s death in protest of law activist’s defamation case

Thailand13 hours ago

Thai road sweepers get safer new uniform for work

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Police patrol Pattaya Beach looking for guns, booze, prostitutes

Sponsored22 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Phuket14 hours ago

4 Chinese fishermen lost at sea rescued near Phuket

Pattaya14 hours ago

Two lost children found on Pattaya’s Walking Street

Guides14 hours ago

5 underrated apps you need to use in Thailand this year

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket14 hours ago

Cheeky Taoist procession spices up Phuket’s veggie fest

World15 hours ago

Avalanche strikes mountaineering team in Indian Himalayas, 4 killed

Cannabis15 hours ago

Can foreigners legally grow cannabis in Thailand?

Tourism15 hours ago

1-billion-baht tourism stimulus back on track

Thailand15 hours ago

Ordination ceremony concert goes on despite flood

Hot News15 hours ago

Flooding may impact Thailand’s tourism recovery

Road deaths16 hours ago

Young woman killed in hit-and-run in Chon Buri

Hot News16 hours ago

Myanmar youth artists hold art challenge to raise awareness of country’s plight

Entertainment16 hours ago

“One For the Road” film is Thailand’s 25th Oscar attempt

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11