Sun, June 26, 2022

in-focus

Phuket aims to attract 5 million foreign tourists this year


With Thailand easing rules for entry, Phuket will likely attract as many as 5 million foreign tourists this year, making up 50 per cent of the pre-Covid arrivals, according to the island resort province’s Tourism and Sports Office.

Rachadaporn Oin, head of Phuket’s Tourism and Sports Office, said on Thursday that since the cancellation of the Test & Go programme on May 1, the island province has seen 2,000 to 3,000 arrivals per day.

The number is expected to rise to 10,000 per day during the high tourism season in the fourth quarter of the year, she said.

“We expect that throughout this year, about 5 million foreign tourists will visit Phuket. That’s a recovery of 50 per cent compared to the pre-Covid period when there were 10 million foreign visitors per year,” the official said.

From May 1-17, Phuket saw accumulated arrivals of 45,806 via 413 international flights. The provincial Tourism and Sports Office estimated that at least 200,000 foreign tourists will arrive in Phuket throughout May.

“During the rainy season, the low season for Thailand’s tourism, Phuket expects to get tourists from the Middle East and India. People from these markets like to travel during the rainy season,” Rachadaporn said.

“In the fourth quarter, which is Phuket’s high season, we expect 10,000 foreign tourists per day, accounting for a third of the province’s pre-Covid arrivals,” she added.

Since July 1, 2021, when the Phuket Sandbox programme started for people entering Thailand, until May 17, Phuket received 5,207 international flights and welcomed 544,653 visitors, according to the official.

Meanwhile, a source from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports disclosed that a group of Thai tourism operators earlier this month held roadshows in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, where they met thousands of tour operators and travel agents from across the world.

The delegation was led by Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

In the UAE, the Thai group joined the Arabian Travel Market 2022 in Dubai on May 9-12. They held a roadshow in Saudi Arabia earlier this week, following up on the recent restoration of bilateral ties, the source said.

Published : May 19, 2022