Tourism to surge in Phuket during vegetarian festival
Fears that strong baht valuation will lead to less spending
Despite the strong value of the Thai baht, an upcoming vegetarian festival in Phuket is expected to attract a large number of Chinese tourists and bring the resort island province about 2 billion baht in tourism-related revenue, said the Phuket Tourist Association, the province's main association relating to tourism business operators.
The vegetarian festival, which will run from Saturday until Oct 7, will draw a large number of Chinese tourists since this period coincides with celebrations of China's national day, said association president Bhummikitti Ruktaengam on Friday.
The province is also expecting to welcome an unusually high number of visitors from neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia during the same period
“Altogether, both Thai and foreign visitors to Phuket during the vegetarian festival are expected to spend about 2 billion baht across the province,” he said.
Even though a tourist influx is expected, the tourism industry is prepared for these tourists to spend less than previously due to higher costs associated with visiting as a result of the strong Thai baht, he added.
A religious rite will be held on Saturday to mark the beginning of the vegetarian festival, however, the consumption of vegetarian-only meals will begin from Sunday.