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Hundreds of thousands still choosing Phuket for holiday recreation

Phuket Airport Set to Soar Past Nine Million Passengers in 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
PHUKET: Metered tuk-tuks may be hard to find on Phuket but Phuket International Airport's passenger meter runs like a dream, clicking up remarkable figures.

Click click click. In April, international arrivals and departures on Phuket rose by 17.84 percent over the previous year, which in turn rose by 24.60 percent over the year before that.

Click click click. Passengers for April amount to 770,906, down on March but combined as the first four months, adding up to a surprising 3,490,251 comings and goings. At this rate, a tally of 9.5 million for 2012 remains achievable.

Click click click. How fast is Phuket accelerating? Rapidly. The figure for April 2012 is virtually double what it was in 2006. The rise has been constant, with the exception of a lull in 2009.

Phuket is also becoming more international, with overseas visitor numbers nudging past domestic numbers again, and the international rise far ahead of the domestic rise of 9.27 percent in April.

While the stream of travellers from Europe that once seemed to be endless is now discernably thinner, the Chinese and the Russians are coming in growing numbers and the Australians never seem to stop.

Phuket as a destination is changing. And with the Asean economic community now due to arrive in 2015 before the new international airport terminal opens, provision of infrastructure remains well behind Phuket's needs.

The pace of life on Phuket? Well, that seems to be constantly clickening.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I was at the baanzaan market a few times last week and it was the quietest i have seen it in years. Dont know if it was because of the supposed end of life on Phuket or what but it was frighteningly quiet. Still you cant keep a good tourist down, and despite the shenanigans with jet skis, taxis and tuk tuks, these arrival numbers just keep climbing.

Posted by carvets on May 8, 2012 18:48


In the first 4 months this year I've departed and entered PIA on an international flight 3 times. That means I've been counted 6 times in these statistics but I'm still just one person.

I don't doubt more tourists are coming but with an increasing number of expats or semi-expats those numbers are also increasingly skewed.

As bad as PIA is, I still prefer to fly from here off to Changi and transfer to where-ever I'm going, instead of the horrible Suvarnabhumi airport.

That said, planning ahead is not the strength of Thai society and the infrastructure on Phuket is surely proving that.

I mean, how many of us living here think about taking a leisurely drive just for fun in today's traffic ?

Posted by Steve C. on May 8, 2012 20:59

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