New direct service to Phuket to boost tourism from India

New direct service to Phuket to boost tourism from India

An Airbus A320 operated by Indigo Airlines taxis through a traditional water tunnel of welcome after landing at Phuket airport on its inaugural flight from Delhi on Friday. (Photo by Achadtaya Chuenniran)
An Airbus A320 operated by Indigo Airlines taxis through a traditional water tunnel of welcome after landing at Phuket airport on its inaugural flight from Delhi on Friday. (Photo by Achadtaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: The Phuket Tourist Association is expecting more visitors from India after an Indian budget airline on Friday began direct flights to the resort island.

Indigo Airlines is operating the new service between Delhi and Phuket six times a week, using an Airbus A320. It is the second Thai destination for the low-cost carrier, which already flies the Kolkata-Suvarnabhumi airport route.

Association vice president Rangsiman Kingkaew said a delegation would go to India to promote Phuket as a destination for people from the subcontinent.

He expected tourist arrivals from India would grow at least 10% by the end of this year.

There were 1.25 million foreign arrivals from India in the first nine months of this year, up 11% on the same period of last year, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

They made up the fifth largest group of visitors from Asia - after China, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

The country experienced a drop of tourists this year mainly due to falling numbers of Chinese after the sinking of the tour boat Phoenix during a storm in July, in which 47 Chinese tourists drowned. 

An Indian tourist was also killed last month during a street-gang gunfight in Bangkok.


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