On 4 January 2011, the Tourism Authority of Thailand or TAT Phuket’s Office revealed the tourism situation during the 2011 New Year holidays. The TAT said that on December 31st 2010, 90-100% of rooms were booked in hotels located near the beaches such as in Patong and Karon. Hotels in Phuket town only had 60% of rooms reserved. The majority of the tourists were from Scandinavia, Australia, Russia, and Middle Eastern countries. The number of tourists from China and Thailand dropped because of a false tsunami rumor.
The most visited marine attractions were Phi Phi Island, Similan Islands and Racha Yai Island. While foreign tourists spent most of their time on the beach, most Thai tourists visited the cultural attractions of the island. During this New Year, TAT estimate that Phuket got 15% more income compared to the same period of the last New Year. More tourists from China and other Asian countries would visit the island during the coming Chinese New Year Festival.
Next year, the TAT together with the Phuket Tourism Association and Southern Thai Hotel Association will focus on the tourists from South Asian countries and especially those who are from China, Korea, and India. The European market will be quiet since many countries there have very cold weather problems which is an obstacle travelling to Phuket. There will be many events held all year round to promote the island’s tourism and improve quality.
In 2010, TAT said there were 3 million tourists coming to Phuket, so the TAT expected that the number this year 2011 would increase 10% despite less Thai tourists.