Connect with us


Phuket tourism: TAT targets Vietnam



PHUKET: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hopes the establishment of Phuket as a regional air hub will help the country attract more than 400,000 visitors from Vietnam for the first time this year.

Pichai Raktasinha, Director of the TAT office in Ho Chi Minh City, said the number of Vietnamese arrivals in Thailand has risen steadily in recent years, from about 337,000 in 2008 to 362,000 in 2009.

The TAT would like to see the figure crack the 400,000 barrier in 2010, said Mr Pichai.

Currently, Bangkok and Pattaya are the most popular destinations among Vietnamese tourists, but the TAT hopes the direct Phuket – Ho Chi Minh City flights now available on AirAsia will lure independent Vietnamese tourists to Phuket and other destinations in the south, including Phang Nga, Krabi and Koh Samui.

Thais have also shown interest in Vietnam, with about 160,000 of them visiting the country last year.

Popular destinations include major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Danang as well as Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with karst island formations similar to those in Phang Nga Bay.

Nevertheless, Thai arrivals to Vietnam have been down over the past few months due to political and economic problems at home, he said.

AirAsia marketing manager Chuenjit Chotewittayakul said there were fewer empty seats on flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Phuket than on the return leg.

Roughly half of the inbound passengers are Vietnamese. Most of the remainder are non-Thais entering the country for business or tourism.

AirAsia’s Phuket hub currently offers direct, round-trip services to five international destinations (Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Medan and Ho Chi Minh City) as well as direct domestic flights to Chiang Mai, Udon Thani and Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

Flights to Phuket are fairly full on all routes except the Medan and Ho Chi Minh City services, which still need more time to gain recognition and popularity, she said.

“We will offer more flights in the future and plan to launch services to India this year. Thai AirAsia expects to service five million passengers in 2010,” she said.

— Atchaa Khamlo


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:

Video6 hours ago

Siam Paragon Bangkok International Fashion Week 2022

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Flash flooding to hit every region of Thailand

Thailand8 hours ago

Off-duty officer fires shots & fights with Bangkok cabbie

Sponsored16 hours ago

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

Thailand8 hours ago

Venomous snake emerges from parcel at sorting office in Thailand

Technology9 hours ago

Line Man Wongnai now Thailand’s largest tech startup

Thailand9 hours ago

Customer buys brand new Honda PCX motorbike with coins in eastern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs9 hours ago

Drug chase ends in flipped car, 6 million spilled Yaba pills

Thailand10 hours ago

169 Thai police officers dismissed for serious violations

World10 hours ago

Edward Snowden received Russian citizenship

Thailand11 hours ago

American told to stop riding go-kart in Chiang Mai

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand legalises abortion up to 20 weeks

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Nasal spray to prevent Covid hits stores October 1

Crime12 hours ago

China backs Philippines online gambling crackdown

Crime12 hours ago

Foreign gang allegedly extorts Russian couple of crypto worth US$50k in Thailand

Events14 hours ago

Meatfest will host meat cooking and eating contests in Pattaya

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