Wannaprapa Sooksomboon, the Assistant Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phuket Office, said that tourism in Phuket has tended to be better in the last three months of 2010. She added that during January – August 2010, there were 950,936 tourists (* according to Airports of Thailand statistics, there were 1,061,478 international passengers, and 1,200,476 domestic passengers) on direct and charter flights landing in Phuket. This helped the reservation rate reach 70% and the average spent by tourists was 40,000 baht per person.
According to their statistics, the three Western nationalities ranking at the top for visiting Phuket were Swedes, Australians, and Finns. The three Asian nationalities mostly visiting Phuket were Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Malaysians. Meanwhile, three nationalities that tended to come to Phuket more increasingly were Indonesians, Chinese, and Indians.
Wannaprapa said that the better market for Phuket tourism in 2010 was the convention groups. This year, there were 15% more convention groups coming to Phuket compared to 2009. Apart from this, there were more couples and honeymoon groups from India and China booking wedding programs on the island every month.
She said in January – August 2010, there were 382 flights coming to Phuket, 219 flights were domestic and 163 flights were international (* according to Airports of Thailand statistics, there were 15,800 flights, 8,117 were domestic and 7,683 were international). There were five airlines providing direct flights to the island included Eastar Jet, V Australia, Business Air, South China Air and Thomas Cook.
In addition, there would be many international events held in Phuket: such as the international surfing tournament being held on Kata Beach during September 22nd-26th 2010; a conference of 1,500 members of an Indian tourism association plus about 2,000 followers – this conference would be held in the Laguna Group’s hotels; and an English TV contest of ‘Survivors’ using Phuket as a production base would be broadcast world wide in September 2010. Moreover, there were 50% of hotel rooms reserved during the Vegetarian Festival at the beginning of October.