Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


The Similan islands, just part of Phuket's appeal in good times

Stalwart Aussies, Brits Prop Up Phuket Numbers

Thursday, April 30, 2009
LATEST statistics for guest arrivals on Phuket confirm that the second half of 2008 began badly and set low expectations for the lame high season that followed.

The figures, supplied by resorts, hotels and guesthouses to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, show a year on year decline of 42.83 percent.

That figure would be alarming if the tourist and travel industries had not adapted over the past six months to anticipate low numbers of this kind.

Because the statistics take so long to compile, they are of almost historic interest, outpaced daily by the world economic downturn, local political turmoil and this week by a global flu scare.

There is one thing that can now be said with absolute certainty about the uncertainty . . .

The turbulent tourism environment is likely to take longer to move through than the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, a calamity that at least had a begin and an end, and a point at which a recovery could begin.

Phuket and Thailand are not there yet, and there is no telling when they will be.

The third quarter of 2008 was pierced by the invasion and three-day occupation of Phuket airport in late August, so that interruption to flights would have seriously affected the figures.

Once again, even in a bad quarter, the island's reliance on the Australian market made for overdependence on a single source.

Three times as many Australians came to Phuket in Q3 2008 as the next largest contributing nation, Britain.

And figures for both fell through the floor, Australians plummeting by 41.03 percent to 78,567 visitors, and Britons by 40.24 percent to 26,084.

Declines among some other nations must have caused heartache at plenty of hotels, enough to make us wonder at the accuracy of occupancy levels supplied in Phuketwan resort surveys.

Here are a selection of the worst Q3 2008 declines: Hong Kong, 7940 (down 72.58 percent) Malaysia 12,755 (down 55.51 percent) Singapore 7020 (down 67.89 percent) China 15,365 (down 66.67 percent) Japan 22,129 (down 47.75 percent) Korea 23,726 (down 61.76 percent) Taiwan 5955 (down 59.52 percent) Israel 2940 (down 64.48 percent) Saudi Arabia 4133 (down 64.66 percent).

Among a widespread reduction in tourists across Europe, Austria chalked up a plus, with the figure rising to 3582, up 8.45 percent. Spain too increased against the trend to 8029, up 18.44 percent.

Germany slid to 9490, down 50.77 percent, and Sweden dipped to 9534, down 15.86 percent. Russian arrivals totalled 7414, down 38.26 percent.

French arrivals numbered 9254, down 43.28 percent, with Denmark 6332 (down 40.64) Italy 6652 (down 36.23 percent) Netherlands 4877 (down 46.48 percent) Norway 4309 (down 3.69 percent) Belgium 3677 (down 12.72) Ireland 2983 (down 34.63) and Finland 1957 (down 44.21).

Small plusses showed against Estonia, Ukraine and Poland.

The total for Thais dropped 27.42 percent to 148,549, with expat travel in isolation down by 47.34 percent, to 368,885.

Almost inevitably, the figures are difficult to reconcile against flight arrival and departures.

Latest arrival figures for Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok in March 2009 show consistent declines in numbers, but not to the same extent.

A total of 831,560 visitors from overseas were recorded in March, 16.94 percent down on the same month last year.

Airlines Liftoff Gives Phuket Fresh Flying Start
Latest Gloom and despondency should start to lift with the launch of a new air service to Malaysia and the opening of another branded airlines store in Patong.
Airlines Liftoff Gives Phuket Fresh Flying Start

Phuket Travel Chiefs Cheer End of Emergency
Latest Facing cancelled flights and a bunch of travel alerts, tourism industry leaders on Phuket have hailed the end of the state of emergency and hope for more good news.
Phuket Travel Chiefs Cheer End of Emergency

PM Tips Asean for Phuket: Resorts Slug It Out
Latest Which Phuket resort will gain the Asean Plus Six Summit that the PM has announced is coming to Phuket? There are two leading candidates, both good options.
PM Tips Asean for Phuket: Resorts Slug It Out

Anarchy and Chaos: Thailand's Low Score
Latest A leading expat lawyer has reassured clients that the Songkran road toll is far more destructive than the red shirt rebellion. On Phuket, four holiday deaths were reported.
Anarchy and Chaos: Thailand's Low Score

Phuket Three Stars 'Will Face Pricing Pressure'
Latest Three star resorts face competition from four and five stars in the months ahead, says a leading politician. And a top lawyer gives his appraisal of the Songkran Skirmish.
Phuket Three Stars 'Will Face Pricing Pressure'

Phuket's Plea: Stop the Tourism Rollercoaster
LatestThe rollercoaster that is Thailand's tourism industry just ran off the rails yet again. Phuket's industry leaders think the Government needs to make sure it doesn't keep happening.
Phuket's Plea: Stop the Tourism Rollercoaster


Comments have been disabled for this article.

Sunday September 26, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter