The centre said Phuket consistently attracts foreign investors in tourism particular for hotels, spas, and restaurants. The island’s tourism earnings account for 74.5% of the earnings at all of the main Andaman Coast resort areas — Ranong, Krabi, Phang Nga, and Trang.
Although there was an evacuation warning linked to a tsunami threat last April, the warning system worked and helped to encourage confidence in the island’s safety outlook.
According to data compiled by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, international tourist arrivals passing through immigration checkpoints in Phuket grew 22% year-on-year in April. As a result, tourism has improved 13% year-on-year in the first four months of this year.
The bank’s research centre estimates Phuket will welcome 7.4 million tourist arrivals this year, up 12.1% year-on-year though this would be lower than the 21.0% growth projected for 2011.
Of the tourists visiting the island this year, 86% will be international tourists.
Phuket should be able to generate around Bt140 billion in tourism income in 2012, up 7.7%, but still well below the 20% growth forecast for 2011. Of that income, 94% will come from foreign tourists.
Bank recommendations for development are:
• Develop a marketing strategy for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions and improve business tourism knowledge and management and personnel competency;
• Fast track the Phuket Convention Centre project to accommodate mega events;
• Build tourist confidence by improving information and the management of the earthquake security system, add better communications channels and publicise evacuation plans and drills to gain maximum participation. Open a single information centre to reduce confusion; maintain a stock of reserve food and medicine; and ensure there are safety signs and directions in Thai, English, Chinese, and Malaysian;
• Rehabilitate natural resources in Phuket’s tourist destinations including 39 nearby islands;
• Cooperate and seek partners in the international market such as financial institutions, hotels, airlines and tour operators;
• Push the five provinces on Andaman Coast– Phuket, Ranong, Krabi, Phang Nga, and Trang–to be a diving destinations to tap high spending tourists;
• Limit capacity and time frames for visits to national parks and island to allow adequate recovery.
News Courtesy of TTRWeekly