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05/05/2011 - Phuket tourist arrivals up 25% in Q1

05/05/2011 - Phuket tourist arrivals up 25% in Q1

2011 is already looking like being a record year for Phuket tourism as international arrivals at Phuket Airport reached 654,009 during the first three months of the year. This marks an increase of twenty five per cent over the same period last year.

The announcement of the official figures from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) follows the end of a ‘familiarisation trip’ which was organised for the Bangkok press and international tour operators.

In an effort to impress, TAT treated international delegates to a four day tour so they could experience Thailand for themselves.

TAT also reported the official tourism figures for April which is one of the busiest periods in Phuket as tourists flock to the Island to take in the Thai New Year ( Songkran ) celebrations from April 13th to 15th. The Thailand immigration bureau recorded 123,934 passengers arriving at Phuket International Airport between April 1st and April 23rd. This is an increase of thirty one per cent on last year’s figures.

A total of 800 million baht (US$26 million) in revenue was generated over the Thai New Year period in Phuket, with hotel occupancy averaging seventy percent at properties across the Island.

Tourism in Phuket has been on the rise consistently since 2009, with the total number of arrivals in 2010 reaching 1,692,598; an increase of forty three percent over 2009.

One of the reasons for this is the introduction direct flights to Phuket from new destinations such as Myanmar ( Burma ).

In fact tourist arrivals have increased so much in the past few years that Phuket International Airport is struggling to cope. So the new terminal at the ageing Phuket property cannot come soon enough; phase one of the expansion is due to be completed by September this year, just in time for the next high season.





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