Tourists pump 6 billion baht into Phuket’s economy during new year

Tourists pumped over 6 billion baht into the economy of Phuket in southern Thailand over the four-day new year holiday, according to the Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Nantasiri Ronasiri.

Today, TAT director Nantasiri revealed that between December 30 to January 2, accommodation in Phuket was booked up at 77% of capacity.

During these four days and three nights, Phuket International Airport welcomed 200 international flights on 38 airlines carrying 43,075 travellers – or an average of 50 flights and 10,769 people per day.

Some 247 domestic flights brought 36,047 tourists to Phuket over the new year on six airlines – or, 61 flights carrying 9,012 people on average per day.

On December 27, the first BH Air flight from Bulgaria landed at Phuket airport carrying 180 excited tourists ready to ring in the new year Thai-style.

The TAT estimates that the exodus of both foreign and domestic tourists generated a grand 6.69 billion baht in revenue.

On New Year’s Eve, Patong’s infamous Bangla Road was chockablock with tourists for the first time since the long-lost pre-pandemic days.

An amass of tourists trundled down to Patong Beach for the official countdown, enjoying a spectacular firework display and musical performances.

Revellers outright ignored the official warning not to set off fireworks and sky lanterns in public places on New Year’s Eve, lighting up the sky on Patong, Bang Tao, Layan, and Surin beaches.

Central Phuket entertained over 20,000 partygoers on New Year’s Eve with a light show, a firework display, and an EDM festival.

On New Year’s Day, no road deaths were reported in Phuket. Phuket recorded its first road death on the third of “Seven Dangerous Days,” a period in which road accidents and deaths spike every year nationwide from December 29 – January 5.

Yesterday, an elderly Thai couple living in Phuket town were killed when their motorbike and attached sidecar (saleng) were struck by a car travelling “at speed.”

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.