Phuket Logs 1.7m Tourists and 28.27% Hotel Booking Rate Until June

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Phuket has welcomed over 1.7 million visitors from January to May 31st, generating more than 26 billion baht in local revenue.

Before the pandemic, hotel rooms on the resort island used to be 75% booked. However, the hotel reservation rate fell to 19.47% in 2020 and 7.5% last year amid strict Covid-19 restrictions, said Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, director of the TAT’s Phuket Office.

In response, the government decided to step up measures to help stimulate demand for travel and hotel bookings, as Phuket’s economy relies heavily on tourism, Ms. Nanthasiri added.

Authorities launched the Rao Tiew Duay Kan (We Travel Together) tourism stimulus campaign, managing to increase the number of domestic tourists to 80% of the 2021 total. The figure was equivalent to the proportion of foreign tourists who arrived at the popular destination before the pandemic in 2029.

According to Ms. Nanthasiri, over 200,000 foreign tourists visited Phuket after the government rolled out the Sandbox scheme from July to December last year.

The number of visitors also increased this year, with around 1.73 travelers arriving in Phuket from January to May 31. Some 132,472 arrivals were domestic tourists.

Tourist spending has brought the island 26.5 billion baht, including 14.4 billion baht from Thais, suggesting an increase in the number of domestic travelers in recent months.

The figures show that Phuket has seen a more efficient and faster recovery than other provinces. The island’s hotel booking rate for the first five months of 2022 was 28.27% on average, Ms. Nanthasiri explained.

As well as being the most popular province in the southern region for tourists, Phuket has implemented strict Covid-19 controls to reduce infections.

Somsuk Samphanprateep, deputy chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office, said the island’s daily case toll dropped to 15 infections on average, meaning that the Covid-19 situation has improved.

Phuket is ready to enter the post-pandemic phase from Friday, in line with national policy, he added.

However, people in high-risk groups and in crowded areas should continue wearing masks.