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Winning back the Chinese will not be easy by the Governor is trying

Phuket Governor Treks to China for Tourists

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
PHUKET'S Governor and the Tourism Authority of Thailand's regional director are going to China later this month to generate island tourism, with new charter flights on the way.

News of the venture comes as latest statistics from Phuket International Airport reveal a 14 percent slump year-on-year in May passenger numbers.

It was the first month since September last year that the number of passenger flights in and out of Phuket has fallen below 400,000.

The figure was 361,192. Worse probably lies ahead.

Evidence from returning travellers to Europe indicates huge summer discounting there as hotels across the continent seek to retain tourists who might otherwise head off on a long-haul holiday to Thailand.

It's not just a case of rival resorts on Phuket going as low as they can to retain cash flow, but of resorts across the entire swathe of Europe and Asia competing for a smaller pool of travellers.

Last September, remember, was the low point that followed the late-August blockade at Phuket airport.

By then, the figures that in January and February seemed to be heading towards a record year for Phuket in 2008 had turned southwards.

This year, the figures happen to be south of south.

Expectations for the high season 2009-10 at present may mean the entire season deserves to be renamed the extremely moderate season.

To draw benefits where travel dollars (or in this case yuan) remain to be spent, Governor Wichai Praisa-nob and the TAT's Sethaphan Buddhani will visit Guangzhou in China for talks with GZL, the region's second-largest tour agents.

Last year, GZL were responsible for bringing 30,000 tourists to Phuket.

A successful Phuket road show looked like attracting more business . . . until the riots in Bangkok at Songkran led the China Government to post travel alerts and advise citizens not to go to Thailand.

The Governor and Khun Sethaphan will be attempting to open the door to new visitors all over again.

Regular flights are due to begin twice-weekly from Guangzhou to Phuket in September.

Eastern Airlines is also beginning a charter connection from Shanghai to Phuket on June 20.

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Wednesday January 19, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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