Phuket targets 1 million foreign tourists for last quarter of 2022

PHOTO: Flickr/Tore Bustad

The president of the Phuket Tourist Association says the island hopes to attract a million foreign tourists in the last quarter of the year. Bhummikitti Raktaengam says things are looking up since the cancellation of Test & Go, and he’s hopeful the southern island could receive a total of 3.5 million visitors this year.

Since May 1, the number of international arrivals to Phuket has risen to between 3,000 and 5,000 a day, compared to just 400 – 500 a day in the sandbox scheme and 2,500 a day through Test & Go. Before the Covid-19 era, Phuket welcomed 10 million international visitors in 2019, 3 million of whom came from China.

This year, Bhummikitti sees India as a potential market, pointing out that most of this month’s foreign tourists have arrived from there. Thanks to direct flights to Phuket, the island has welcomed an average of 1,000 Indian tourists a day.

After India, another strong market is Australia, with around 10,000 visitors from Down Under arriving in Phuket last month. Operators are hopeful this will increase to 15,000 following the cancellation of Test & Go. Bhummikitti says the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia are also proving to be top markets for Phuket.

The Bangkok Post reports that, in popular tourist spots like Patong, hotel occupancy is expected to reach between 60 and 70% this month. The average stay for each tourist is around 4 – 5 days, but Bhummikitti hopes this could increase to 6 days if more activities and attractions open up. He’s hopeful that from October, the number of visitors flying to Phuket will remain at 9,000 – 10,000 a day, provided there are no other unforeseen events that could affect the recovery of the tourism sector.

“The viral situation should no longer be cause for huge concern, but other economic indicators during the final quarter should be taken into account, including inflation, the exchange rate and oil prices, which affect both the supply and demand sides.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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