In response to disputed, negative stories about Phuket tourism, Kanokkittika Kritwuttikorn, the director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office said the island remained popular.
The tourism boss said: “Number of tourists visiting Phuket is still high when compared to last year. We’ve also spoken to many tour operators who say that bookings are ‘solid’ for this time of the year.
“Number of tourist check-in hotels last month is 72 per cent, which is almost the same compared with last year,” Kanokkittika told the media.
“Ratio of Thai and foreign tourists is 15:85. Total visitors are 1,034,900 in November. An average spend for each visitor per day is Bt8,200 which generated Bt40,400 million in November.
“Hotels near beaches have the highest occupancy rate of 85 per cent. The highest numbers of visitors to Phuket in December are Chinese, Russian, Australian, Korean and Indian.
“Chinese tourists, coming through Phuket immigration, were 130,200 last month, down 3,500 from the same period last year. Some hotels are reporting that several Chinese tour groups have cancelled hotels booking over the past few months,” Kanokkittika said.
The number of Chinese visiting Phuket has dropped around 10 to 30 per cent, based on statistics from hotels, tour operators, immigration, in recent months with tour group bookings lower than last year.
An article, "'Expensive' Phuket dead as a dodo this high season", painted an inaccurate picture about Phuket which was based on anecdotes, Kanokkittika said.