Phuket tourism revenue moving closer to pre-pandemic level
TAT set target for foreign tourist arrivals at 23 million
published : 27 Jan 2023 at 13:36
writer: Achadthaya Chuenniran
PHUKET: Tourism in this resort island province is bouncing back, with tourism revenue reaching more than 50% of the pre-pandemic level, according to a tourism official.
Phuket saw 9.2 million tourist arrivals from January to December last year, with Thai tourists accounting for 53.6% and foreign tourists making up the remainder, and the number of foreign tourist arrivals has been high since October due to the easing of entry restrictions, Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket, said on Thursday.
In 2022, Phuket generated 233.38 billion baht in tourism revenue. Before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, its annual tourism revenue stood at 400 billion baht.
Of the total revenue, more than 70% were from foreigners while the remaining was from Thai visitors.
The average hotel room occupancy rate was 42.58% last year. Currently, the rate is 80% out of 101,221 rooms available.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket announces tourism venue generated in the resort island from January to December last year during a media briefing on Thursday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Among foreign arrivals last year, Russia was Phuket’s biggest tourist group, followed by India, Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, South Korea and the United States.
As for Thai tourists, many arrived in Phuket during long holiday periods, such as the New Year, said the TAT official.
In mid-January, Phuket welcomed the first three flights of tourists from China. Most Chinese visitors were from the Free Independent Travellers (FIT) - visitors who travel by themselves rather than with tour groups.
"In 2023, the TAT has set its target for foreign tourist arrivals at 23 million," said Ms Nanthasiri. "Phuket welcomed 9 million Thai and foreign visitors in 2022, and this year's target is 12 million."
Airport staff greet and give souvenirs to passengers of China Eastern Airlines flight MU2813 around 5pm on Thursday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Phuket International Airport welcomed China Eastern Airlines’ inaugural fight from China, which took 141 tourists to the island province on Thursday evening.
The airline flies to Phuket three days a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.