BANGKOK, 24 June 2014: Business for Phuket’s tourism industry remains robust with passenger arrivals growing 26% and hotel occupancy rates reaching more than 80% in the first quarter of this year, according to two reports by property consulting firms CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) and C9 Hotelworks.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand quotes the surveys to strengthen its argument that the recent political situation in Thailand has not negatively impacted the tourism industry in Phuket.
According to the CBRE survey, international tourist arrivals increased 6.9% to 962,953 visitors over the first quarter. The research attributed growth to an increase in direct international flights to Phuket.
Meanwhile, C9 Hotelworks, last March claimed Phuket International Airport reported a consistent increase in passengers of around 10% per year between 2004 and 2013. In 2013, the airport recorded 3.2 million international arrivals, representing a 26% year-on-year growth.
Chinese and Russian tourists are currently the two biggest tourist markets for Phuket, making up some 45% of international passenger arrivals, a rise from 36% in 2012.
In the first quarter of this year, the numbers of travellers from China and Russia reached 225,949 and 228,691, respectively. Three other major sources are Australia, South Korea and Malaysia, according to C9 Hotelworks.
The CBRE survey claimed the average occupancy of high-end accommodation in Phuket (those hotels charging Bt2,000 or more per night) reached more than 80% in the first quarter of this year.
On the supply side, Phuket is expected to see eight new hotel open this year, representing an additional 971 rooms. The island has 47,112 hotel rooms, according to C9 Hotelworks.
However, there are signs of traffic declines in specific markets. In its May report on passenger traffic and country markets, Singapore’s Changi airport said that travel to and from Bangkok and Phuket had dropped 24% in May, alone.
The decline in passengers was across a mix of international travellers using Changi as a gateway airport to Bangkok and Phuket and local travellers from both Thailand and Singapore.
Phuket tourism robust