Provincial officials on the southern island of Phuket say the return of tourists has raised income levels and created more jobs. According to a Bangkok Post report, the return of international tourists has started to revive the island’s economy and reduced unemployment across Phuket.
Data shared by Phuket governor, Narong Wunciew, reveals that since the launch of the Phuket sandbox scheme on July 1 last year, the island has welcomed 503,468 visitors in the 304 days to April 30. The tourists stayed an average of 8 nights, spending around 55,000 baht each. This means a total spend of 28.19 billion baht, with 66.82 billion baht circulating in the island’s economy.
In 2019 Phuket was averaging nearly 1 million travellers per month.
According to academic Chayanon Phucharoen, from the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism at Prince of Songkla University, the unemployment rate in Phuket was 11% during the second quarter of 2021, with around 40,000 people unemployed. During the third quarter of the year, the rate remained at 11% and the number of would-be jobless rose to 45,000. However, during the last quarter of 2021, the unemployment rate dropped to 6%, and quasi-jobless numbers fell to 25,000.
Before and after the lockdown in Phuket during April and May in 2020, some 80 – 100,000 people fled Phuket to their homes due to the lack of work or loss of their jobs, so the current unemployment rate appears low at this time as most of the island’s workforce have not yet returned.
Chayanon says the return of international tourism to the island has also resulted in an increase in the income distributed to grassroots businesses, with small vendors now receiving more orders from hotels.
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SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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