Phuket to receive 49k tourists per day during CNY

Phuket to receive 49k tourists per day during CNY

Tourists visit a walking street in Phuket. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Tourists visit a walking street in Phuket. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

Phuket International Airport expects 49,000 tourists on average to arrive per day during the Lunar New Year festival, which started on Sunday and runs until Feb 16.

Airport director Monchai Tanod said on Sunday the number of arrivals is estimated to soar to 640,000 in total, including 430,000 international visitors, during the 13-day period.

The airport, which is operated by the Airports of Thailand, will welcome a total of 3,915 flights -- 2,298 international and 1,617 domestic -- during the period, he said.

He said airport management is prepared for a surge in passengers because it has increased measures to ensure efficiency and safety, which are its top priorities.

More real-time passenger tracking systems and common-use self-service kiosks for speedy passenger check-ins have been deployed for fast and convenient services and inspections.

He said the airport has been decorated to celebrate the Lunar New Year and management will hold activities and hand out souvenirs to visitors on Feb 8.

He said outbound passengers are advised to arrive at the airport two to three hours before their departure. Flights can be checked via the "SAWASDEE by AOT" app or its contact centre, he said.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) also expects a rise in Chinese tourist arrivals on Koh Samui this month, thanks to the visa-waiver scheme and Chinese New Year.

Kanokkittika Kritwuthikorn, TAT's director for Koh Samui, said the government's visa-waiver policy has a positive impact on Koh Samui's tourism.

A direct flight carrying 138 holidaymakers from China arrived at Samui airport on Feb 1. She expects at least 5,000 Chinese tourists on the island this month.

During Chinese New Year, Bangkok Airways is increasing direct flights from Chongqing and Chengdu in southwest China to Koh Samui to four days a week -- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Some 4,000 Chinese tourists visited the island in January.

Koh Samui is the fourth most-searched destination on the Chinese travel agency platform CTrip, after Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai.

"Samui's popularity among Chinese travellers is also partly attributed to promotional campaigns by the Tourism Association of Koh Samui and the meetings between local tourism operators and their [Chinese] counterparts," Mr Kanokkittika said.

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