Surat Thani rakes in B1.7bn in 4 months

Surat Thani rakes in B1.7bn in 4 months

Surat Thani has become the country's second-most-visited province, earning more than 1.7 billion baht in four months. Some reports suggest it made another 347 million baht over the long weekend.

Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jinto said Surat Thani had made 1.7 billion baht in revenue from January to April. It is second only to Phuket which gained the highest income -- 23 billion baht -- from foreign tourists in 2022, according to the Economics Tourism and Sports Division, Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Mr Witchawut said Surat Thani has popular tourist destinations such as Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Khao Sok National Park. More tourists had arrived after the government eased travel restrictions, a good sign that local tourism will flourish in the second half of the year.

Nantawan Siripokapat, Surat Thani director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said the province had welcomed 38,557 tourists during the weekend, of whom 11,590 were foreigners and 26,967 Thai nationals.

Overall revenue was 347.43 million baht, or an average of 3,361.46 baht daily spending per person. She added that tourist spots on islands and inland destinations are popular among visitors.

A border checkpoint at Songkhla's Sadao district was packed with thousands of Malaysian tourists over the weekend, though the crowds were delayed by the Thailand Pass policy. Tourists from Thailand and Malaysia gathered at a crossing point.

Many came with family and some travelled by tour buses. The border checkpoint was bustling after having been closed during the pandemic, local officials said.

Most tourists entering Thailand had to line up to declare documents under the Thailand Pass policy. The parking lot was full and many waited for hours to submit vaccine certificates and scan a QR code.

The Songkhla Immigration Office said the delay was caused by the overwhelming number of tourists. Schools in Malaysia are closed due to the summer holiday and they had a public holiday celebrating the Malaysian King's Birthday, so many tourists came to Thailand. Tourists said Thailand should lift the Thailand Pass protocol to ease travel restrictions, especially the insurance measure that causes inconvenience for seniors.

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