Phuket sees 4m foreign tourists

Phuket sees 4m foreign tourists

Over four million visitors have arrived in Phuket in the first eight months of 2022, generating at least 66 billion baht for the resort island, according to deputy governor Pichet Panapong.

Phuket is now seeing 3,000-5,000 foreign arrivals a day, or about 40% of the number prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, while the number of local tourists is at about 85% of pre-Covid levels, he said.

Indians dominate the figures with 120,000 visiting the province from May 1 to Sept 21, followed by Australians whose cumulative number over the same period is estimated at 60,000.

Mr Pichet said the province's tourism industry is expected to pick up next month when the high season kicks off. A raft of cultural and festive activities will be held to stimulate the sector and support operators, he added.

He said the province is stepping up safety measures to guard against accidents and crime to boost tourist confidence.

"Phuket has witnessed a number of incidents -- accidents, crimes and mishaps at tourist spots -- and all the parties concerned are taking these issues seriously and are trying their best to address the problem," he said.

Pol Lt Gen Wibul Bangthamai, head of a sub-committee on tourist safety, said the panel is gathering input from the tourism sector on how to ensure visitors are shielded from harm.

The government aims to welcome at least 10 million foreign arrivals this year. Phuket ranks among the country's top destinations for international arrivals.

Before the pandemic struck it received 14.54 million tourists, local and foreign, and raked in 471 billion baht in tourism revenue in 2018.

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