The reopening of Thailand on Monday is expected to boost Phuket’s hard-hit tourism industry. Yesterday, the President of the Phuket Tourism Association said that the island is expected to receive up to 10,000 visitors a day in December, and as many as 1 million arrivals in the first quarter of 2022.
This comes after the recent Airports of Thailand announcement that 726,000 domestic and international visitors will be traveling by plane around Thailand this month. Over 6,600 visitors arrived in Thailand on Monday, the first day that the country was officially reopened. While the country loosened restrictions on international arrivals, Bhummikitti Raktaengam of the Phuket Tourism Association says there will not be a huge influx of tourists.
“First, we must understand that there will not be any sudden rush in the number of tourists coming to Phuket…(but) Bookings in November increased by 20%, while the load factor for some international flights will also rise to 80% thanks to fewer travel rules for low-risk countries and the winter season.”
He added that 825 international flights from 17 different airlines are expected to arrive in Phuket this month. This is a marked increase from the 562 flights from 11 different airlines in October. This increase has led tourism operators on the island to predict a total of 300,000 visitors in December, or around 10,000 new arrivals per day. Bhummikitti says he believes that the easing of entry restrictions will encourage more tourists to travel to Phuket, and that the next few weeks will be a good indicator of what will follow.
“Many tourists have complained that the process for entering Thailand was difficult. As a result, a number of tourists have chosen not to travel to Thailand. But since the rules have been relaxed, we now have an increasing number of tourists and more tourists will travel in…We’ll have to look at it a bit longer. I think it might take another two weeks in order to have more clarity.”
He added that Europe continues to be the primary source market for international visitors, although Phuket is expected to open up to more countries on November 15.
SOURCE: Phuket News