Phuket Province in Thailand is currently basking in a remarkable surge of international tourists, with Chinese travelers taking the forefront, closely followed by visitors from Russia and Australia. This influx of tourists signifies a promising recovery for the region’s tourism industry after enduring the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Thanawat Oncharoen, Vice President of the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA), a significant number of Chinese tourists are independent travelers, while the presence of organized tour groups from China remains relatively low. Despite this, the current international arrival rate stands at an encouraging 70% of pre-pandemic levels, showcasing substantial progress compared to the previous year.
Eager to diversify their visitor base, Phuket authorities are actively working to attract tourists from Kazakhstan and Israel this year. Furthermore, the Middle East is expected to contribute to the influx of tourists during this season, as many travelers from the region are keen to embrace Phuket’s rainy season and enjoy the unique experiences it offers.
Officials have reported that the numbers for Indian and Australian visitors have already rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, demonstrating the resilience of Phuket’s tourism sector in the face of adversity.
Meanwhile, Sueksit Suwannaditsakul, President of the Southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association, has disclosed that hotel occupancy rates in Phuket have remained steady, reaching a promising 70% between January and May. The island boasts an impressive array of accommodation options, with approximately 3,000 hotels providing around 200,000 rooms, ensuring ample choices for travelers seeking a comfortable stay.
Lertchai Wangtrakuldee, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Phuket office, has reported that Phuket has already welcomed over 6 million domestic and international tourists in the first five months of this year. This surge in visitors has resulted in a staggering boost of 196 billion baht to the local economy, illustrating the significant economic impact of tourism on the region.
Buoyed by these positive developments, the TAT now anticipates welcoming a total of 12 million tourists to Phuket by the end of this year. This projection reflects the growing confidence in the province’s tourism sector and the optimism surrounding its continued recovery from the challenges imposed by the global pandemic.