Connect with us

Phuket

Pulp Fiction – Phuket tourism by numbers

Bill Barnett

Published

on

Pulp Fiction – Phuket tourism by numbers | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett

This week netizens have been captivated over a photo in the blogosphere proclaiming that “Phuket high-season was dead as a dodo.”

Excuse me as I digress for just a minute on the subject of dodo’s, which is clearly something I know nothing about, hence putting myself on par with the individual proclaiming the ‘end of days’ for Phuket, on a pictorial blogpost. 

The dodo bird species according to most sources I read about is an extinct flightless bird, who gave birth to the term “dead as a dodo. Moving on, the bird was a character in Lewis Carroll’s iconic Adventures in Wonderland. Interesting (maybe), but please now follow me down the rabbit hole of fact versus fiction, and check out the state of Phuket’s tourism market. 

Our most accurate benchmark of Phuket tourism remains the gateway international airport, and data is collected and reported by the AoT (Airports of Thailand). Oftentimes passenger numbers are inaccurately referred to  as tourists, whereby in fact the term passengers include residents, business travelers, and often visitors transiting to Khao Lak, Krabi or elsewhere

Yet, the AoT data is relevant and is the best source of numbers for tourism that exists. There is not a direct method for counting the number of tourists traveling by private car or public transport to the island, but in the scheme of things, let’s consider that to be somewhat negligible in the day and age when everyone can fly. 

Last year Phuket International Airport hosted a record number of passenger arrivals both on overseas and domestic flights exceeding 8.4 million.  Putting 2018 into perspective, we have looked at latest actual numbers for January through October and factoring in current trends anticipate that full year 2018 will see close to 9.0 million passenger arrivals. This would be an 8% increase in year-on-year traffic. and not bad. considering the impact of the mid-year boat sinking episode. Good news, Phuket is far from dead. 

There is little doubt that there was an impact of the Phoenix disaster on the Chinese market. The first six months of the year was a burner and things turned challenging in the third and fourth quarters. But for clarity, the bottom did not fall out of the market. 

Passenger arrivals for the period of July through October registered a 1.3% cumulative fall compared to the same period last year. As the episode went through the cycle, each succeeding month saw an easing of the impact. Looking at the larger picture, domestic arrivals decreased 5.2% but international arrivals grew by 2.4%. during the four-month period. For those looking at disaster scenarios, is a 1.3% drop the end of the world? I think not. 

In all fairness, the China story still has other moving parts such as the depreciation of the currency against the Thai baht, and rising competition of other destinations such as nearby Vietnam. One macro factor that drives the metrics remains the domestic arrival basket, as passengers who come via Bangkok or other Thai airports into Phuket are counted as into the domestic category and many of these are not Mainland Chinese so perhaps there is a need for concern is on other feeders of Phuket tourism such as Europe and Australia. 

Mono tourism continues to be an ongoing issue and looking at year-to-date international arrivals in the first 10 months of this year, China stands at 43.4% and Russia at 11.6%, so over half the overseas profile is two markets. Going down the line in order of numbers comes Australia, Korea, Malaysia, U.K and Germany. Clearly anyone who runs a business understands the importance of diversifying the base and creating less dependence on these two segments. Phuket’s epic rise over the past decade has come at a cost of diversity, but similar stories can be seen in trends across Asia’s other leisure destinations. 

Before I close out the tourism shop talk I did take time to check out new data from STR who are the leading authority on hotel market performance and there is some cause for concern on this front. Key metrics for hotels remain occupancy, average rate and RevPAR (revenue per available room). 

STR’s numbers reveal the first six months of the year were strong but the numbers fell in July to October. The impact of the China incident was clearly demonstrated. Looking at eleven month market-wide performance, occupancy fell 3.8%, but surprisingly rates pushed up 5.4%, which drove RevPAR to a 1.4% positive. 

Looking at year-on-year comparisons of November to evaluate the easing China impact, there was only a 1% decline over the same month in 2017. Things are getting better, yet December last year was a record setter and it’s unlikely the same momentum can be held. One thing that is clear in STR data is that when Phuket hits stride in high and peak months, most hotels are able to drive rates up and impact RevPAR.  STR data is broad and again some hotels do better, some worse but it remains the best market indicator available. 

To close out our hotel tourism trip, what keeps me awake at night? Aside from a recurring concern over the big sleep, certainly growing noise about a global recession, mono market reliance, and a hyper development supply pipeline of new hotels that is likely to create a supply demand imbalance as the market slows. Nothing moves in straight lines forever. 

Summing up the ‘Phuket death of the dodo tale’, I’ll let you decide this one, perhaps by  the numbers and not just an Instagram-rant moment.

Phuket is busy. Below is a dodo.

Pulp Fiction - Phuket tourism by numbers | News by The Thaiger



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements and is continually gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phuket

Investigation launched into tiger chained at Phuket Zoo – VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

Investigation launched into tiger chained at Phuket Zoo – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: DNP VIDEO – I Am A Tiger Advocate

Officials are conducting a full investigation after a video clip of a tiger chained at Phuket Zoo on social media claimed that the tiger had been drugged for photos with the public.

Phuket officials today have inspected the Phuket Zoo after several social media complaints that the tiger was chained and drugged for tourists to take photos. No tiger was found at the area which was in the video clip.

The Phuket Zoo manager Pichai Sakunsorn says they have moved the two tigers back to their cage after the social media complaints.

He has denied drugging the tiger but said those tigers were used for tourists to take photos and were familiar with the daily experience.

“We have to chain those tigers for tourist safety.”

The Phuket Zoo has a long history of complaints and bad news stories involving the treatment of some of its animals – most recently ‘Milo‘ the Sumatran orang-utan and ‘Dumbo‘ the baby elephant.

A tiger attacked an Australian tourist at the Tiger Kingdom in Kathu five years ago whilst the 49 year old was having his photo taken in a ‘controlled’ compound. Read that story HERE. The companies running these tiger photo opportunities strenuously deny that the tigers are drugged. The Thaiger has huge doubts about these denials, without evidence.

Investigation launched into tiger chained at Phuket Zoo – VIDEO | News by The Thaiger Investigation launched into tiger chained at Phuket Zoo – VIDEO | News by The Thaiger Investigation launched into tiger chained at Phuket Zoo – VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

 

Continue Reading

Phuket

Body found off Saphan Hin on Koh Tapao Noi, Phuket

The Thaiger

Published

on

Body found off Saphan Hin on Koh Tapao Noi, Phuket | The Thaiger

An unidentified body has been found on Koh Tapao Noi off Saphan Hin along Phuket’s east coast yesterday afternoon.

Wichit Police were notified that the body was found on Tapao Noi beach at 5 pm.

Police and Kusoldharm Rescue workers arrived at Saphan Hin in Wichit and four rescue workers headed out on a an inflatable dinghy to Koh Tapao Noi, about 3 kilometres south east of Saphan Hin. They arrived at the island and brought the body back to Saphan Hin. The body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for examination.

Police speculate that it was the body of a man who had died at least two days before before the body was located. On June 14 Phuket Marine Police were notified of a missing boat crew. Police are checking into the man’s ID.

Body found off Saphan Hin on Koh Tapao Noi, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Body found off Saphan Hin on Koh Tapao Noi, Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Continue Reading

Phuket

Burasari opens second Phuket hotel on Coconut Island

Bill Barnett

Published

on

Burasari opens second Phuket hotel on Coconut Island | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Original Vision

Island Escape by Burasari, the second Phuket hotel from the Thai-based group, will have a soft opening this September.

Located on Koh Maphrao (also known as Coconut Island), the initial product will be 15 villas. By December this year, the full inventory of 180 rooms and 40 villas will be operational.

With Island Escape, Burasari Group will operate eight properties in Thailand and Laos.

The Koh Maphrao hotel has been designed by Original Vision.

Burasari opens second Phuket hotel on Coconut Island | News by The Thaiger

Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required



เลว! วินจยย.อุดมสุขยกพวกตีกัน ไม่กลัวตร. หนุ่มโดนลูกหลงกระสุนเจาะศีรษะดับหน้าบ้าน [คลิป] | The Thaiger
ข่าวกรุงเทพ2 days ago

เลว! วินจยย.อุดมสุขยกพวกตีกัน ไม่กลัวตร. หนุ่มโดนลูกหลงกระสุนเจาะศีรษะดับหน้าบ้าน [คลิป]

ชมไฮไลต์การแข่งขันไทย-สหรัฐ “ฟุตบอลโลกหญิง 2019” กลุ่ม F | The Thaiger
ฟุตบอล5 days ago

ชมไฮไลต์การแข่งขันไทย-สหรัฐ “ฟุตบอลโลกหญิง 2019” กลุ่ม F

10 มิ.ย. ถ่ายทอดสด “ฟุตบอลโลกหญิง 2019” ไทยพบสหรัฐ ตี 2 -PPTVHD ยิงตรงจากสนาม | The Thaiger
ฟุตบอล1 week ago

10 มิ.ย. ถ่ายทอดสด “ฟุตบอลโลกหญิง 2019” ไทยพบสหรัฐ ตี 2 -PPTVHD ยิงตรงจากสนาม

เริ่มแล้ว งาน”1 ปี อนาคตใหม่ เดินไปด้วยกัน” ณ หอประชุมใหญ่ ธรรมศาสตร์ท่าพระจันทร์ | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง1 week ago

เริ่มแล้ว งาน”1 ปี อนาคตใหม่ เดินไปด้วยกัน” ณ หอประชุมใหญ่ ธรรมศาสตร์ท่าพระจันทร์

ดูย้อนหลังวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ตุรกี “เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” นัดที่ 9 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 weeks ago

ดูย้อนหลังวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ตุรกี “เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” นัดที่ 9

ระเบิดความมันส์ 6 มิ.ย. ไทย-ตุรกี “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” -ลิงก์ถ่ายทอดสด | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 weeks ago

ระเบิดความมันส์ 6 มิ.ย. ไทย-ตุรกี “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” -ลิงก์ถ่ายทอดสด

ดูย้อนหลังแมทช์ 5 ดาว วอลเลย์บอลไทย-โดมินิกัน “เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” นัดที่ 8 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 weeks ago

ดูย้อนหลังแมทช์ 5 ดาว วอลเลย์บอลไทย-โดมินิกัน “เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019” นัดที่ 8

5 มิ.ย. ชมถ่ายทอดสดประชุมสภาผู้แทนราษฎรครั้งที่3 โหวตเลือกนายกรัฐมนตรี | The Thaiger
เลือกตั้ง 622 weeks ago

5 มิ.ย. ชมถ่ายทอดสดประชุมสภาผู้แทนราษฎรครั้งที่3 โหวตเลือกนายกรัฐมนตรี

[LIVE] “ธนาธร จึงรุ่งเรืองกิจ” แสดงวิสัยทัศน์บริหารประเทศนอกรัฐสภา : เลือกตั้งนายก 2562 | The Thaiger
เลือกตั้ง 622 weeks ago

[LIVE] “ธนาธร จึงรุ่งเรืองกิจ” แสดงวิสัยทัศน์บริหารประเทศนอกรัฐสภา : เลือกตั้งนายก 2562

11 โมง ชมถ่ายทอดสดประชุมรัฐสภา โหวตเลือกนายกรัฐมนตรี คนที่ 30 | The Thaiger
เลือกตั้ง 622 weeks ago

11 โมง ชมถ่ายทอดสดประชุมรัฐสภา โหวตเลือกนายกรัฐมนตรี คนที่ 30

เชียร์สด 4 มิ.ย. ไทย-บัลแกเรีย “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก” 6 โมงเย็น-ลิงก์ถ่ายทอดสด | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 weeks ago

เชียร์สด 4 มิ.ย. ไทย-บัลแกเรีย “วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก” 6 โมงเย็น-ลิงก์ถ่ายทอดสด

เพราะมาก “แก้ม วิชญาณี” เจ้าหญิงจัสมิน โคฟเพลง “Speechless” | The Thaiger
เพลงสากล2 weeks ago

เพราะมาก “แก้ม วิชญาณี” เจ้าหญิงจัสมิน โคฟเพลง “Speechless”

[คลิป]ชาวเน็ตโวย UNHCR ตั้ง”นก สินจัย” พรีเซนต์ช่วยผู้ลี้ภัย “ปวิน” คอมเมนต์เจ็บ | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง2 weeks ago

[คลิป]ชาวเน็ตโวย UNHCR ตั้ง”นก สินจัย” พรีเซนต์ช่วยผู้ลี้ภัย “ปวิน” คอมเมนต์เจ็บ

[Live]ชมสด 21:30 ขบวนแห่ลิเวอร์พูล ถ้วยยูฟ่า แชมเปียนส์ ลีก 2019 | The Thaiger
ฟุตบอล2 weeks ago

[Live]ชมสด 21:30 ขบวนแห่ลิเวอร์พูล ถ้วยยูฟ่า แชมเปียนส์ ลีก 2019

ชมย้อนหลัง ลิเวอร์พูลชัยชนะเหนือสเปอร์ส คว้าแชมป์ยูฟ่าสมัยที่ 6 | The Thaiger
ฟุตบอล2 weeks ago

ชมย้อนหลัง ลิเวอร์พูลชัยชนะเหนือสเปอร์ส คว้าแชมป์ยูฟ่าสมัยที่ 6

Trending