International comings and goings rose by 30.77 percent to 4,370,719. This figure is in line with the Tourism Authority of Thailand's estimate of two million tourist visitors to Phuket in 2011, based on Immigration statistics.
Phuket's two million international arrivals compare with an estimated 2.7 million for South East Asia regional rival Bali.
There are times when property promoters read these figures badly and suggest that Phuket has eight million visitors a year . . . the number of arrivals from overseas is actually as Airports of Thailand and the TAT agree, about two million.
With the total airport figure rising from 5,779,918 in 2009 to 7,043,783 in 2010 to 8,467,995 in 2011, it means Phuket remains in a steady upward trajectory.
A rise of 21.87 percent in 2010 has been followed by a rise of 20.22 percent in 2011.
Bearing in mind that the Phuket facility's official maximum capacity of 6.5 million has been made to look ridiculous in the past two years, how much longer can it continue to rise at this rate?
Completion of the extension that will take Phuket's capacity to 12.5 million has now been put back from November 2014 to early 2015 - another six months, let's say generously - crowding at the airport will continue to plague passengers as they come and go.
Queues that are already eye-glazing are likely to grow and grow . . .
At the top end of the Phuket market, some five-star resort managers have noted softness in the figures for the 2011-2012 peak season. And because Chinese New Year comes early this year, on January 23, no boost will come in February.
Whether this early negativity means figures overall will flatten out in 2012 remains to be seen. Certainly, three-star resorts have been lifting lately in occupancy when compared to four-star and five-stars because Chinese travellers are coming in greater numbers.
Any falling away of European visitors in 2012 will be a loss for the Phuket environmental movement simply because the Europeans and the Australians are better educated about the need to preserve the coral reefs and beaches and less likely to trash them through ignorance.
Because tour guides often have a lackadaisical approach, too much standing on reefs and souveniring chunks of coral takes place.
With Phuket airport likely to grow more packed between now and 2015, there are fears that the next three years could see the island reshaped from its trim overall appeal - high-end to backpackers - to a tell-tale bulging paunch consisting of mass-market travellers.
The next three years will determine whether Phuket can continue to match world's most appealing tropical island destinations, or whether a downward slide in environmental quality will become evident.
Already some ''quality'' tourists are beginning to find the neighboring Krabi and Phang Nga provinces more attractive.
Thailand's government has yet to commit to a tourism strategy that recognises Phuket inevitably becoming a city-island and as relief retards development in its two green ''lungs.''
Phuket's future depends on Krabi and Phang Nga not being permitted to become fully-developed suburbs of Phuket, the island city.
It's a telling time for Thai tourism.
Calendar year 2011 produced an overall increase of 16.69 percent to a total number of 56,673 flights on and off Phuket. International flights rose by 23.58 percent, domestic by 10.36.
Passenger figures for December were up 10.65 percent to 808,890 comings and goings, with international at 449,859 (up 16.41 percent) compared to domestic 359,031 ( up 4.18 percent.)
With 2010 marked by a man-made disaster (the red rebellion) and 2011 by a natural one (the Bangkok floods) the crystal ball for Phuket tourism in 2012 remains cloudy.
At least the turnstiles at Phuket International are still ticking.