Phuket sandbox revenue tops B43bn

Phuket sandbox revenue tops B43bn

People enjoy at a beach as Phuket opens for foreigners. (Reuters photo)
People enjoy at a beach as Phuket opens for foreigners. (Reuters photo)

PHUKET: The Phuket Sandbox scheme has generated over 43 billion baht in revenues, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, director of TAT's Phuket office, said the number of tourists visiting the resort island has been steadily increasing. When it launched on July 1 last year, the island saw about 300 tourists a day -- recently, the number of foreign arrivals hovers around 3,000 per day.

On Monday, 3,350 tourists arrived on 24 flights operated by 18 airlines, she said, bringing the number of visitors to the island to 61,202.

Throughout January, 86,282 tourists visited Phuket, she said, adding about 70,000 room reservations were made, with the average tourist staying for an average of eight days.

In total, 331,365 tourists have arrived under the scheme, with each spending an average of 7,000 baht per day.

While the scheme generated 18.32 billion baht in direct revenues, it helped inject a total of 43.52 billion baht into the economy, she said.

To reach the goal of 160 million domestic trips this year, TAT will hold tourism campaigns and roadshows ahead of holiday periods to draw more Thai tourists.

At present, hotel occupancy in Phuket ranges between 35-50%, though the number is expected to reach 60-70% during the Songkran holidays, she said.

Panatchakorn Jaiyen, vice president of Phuket Tourist Association, said the "Phuket Ded Tang Koh" tourism promotion fair has been well-received by Thai tourists. The first fair was held in Bangkok last month.

TAT will host similar events in other provinces, including Trang, Udon Thani, Hat Yai and Surat Thani, she said.

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