Narankorn Tohluboh, the Phuket Manager of Small and Medium Enterprise or SME Development Bank of Thailand, commented that in the first half of 2010, Phuket tourism was significantly recovering compared to other provinces in Thailand. Even though there were earlier protests in Bangkok and other parts of the country, the island has recovered its tourism industry well. During this time, there were still 60%-70% of hotel rooms booked. Investors still put money into their projects such as hotels, resorts, property projects, and other tourism related businesses in Phuket.
In the first six months of this year, SME Bank had lent 63 entrepreneurs 428.8 million baht in loans. There were 30 entrepreneurs applying for loans worth 2,363 million baht. The manager estimated that the bank could lend around 1,100 million baht of loans by the end of this year. This significantly showed that tourism in Phuket was truly recovering. In most cases, it was for new investments, rather than expansion. There were five cases of hotel investments for about 200 rooms by Thais in Phuket requesting support of 200-500 million baht from the bank.