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Phuket Anticipates 1 Million Tourist Arrivals From January to March 2022

Published: November 2, 2021 at 9:02 pm

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Tourism operators in Phuket anticipate that Thailand’s reopening will contribute to a surge in foreign tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2022.

“Bookings in November increased by 20%, while the load factor for some international flights will also rise to 80% thanks to fewer travel rules for low-risk countries and the winter season,” – Bhummikitti Raktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association.

Today, 825 foreign flights operated by 17 airlines were expected to arrive in Phuket.  A 46.78% increase from 562 flights operated by 11 airlines last month.

Under the guidelines, certificate of entry (COE) is still accepted for tourist arrivals while Thailand Pass is still under development, guests may create reservations up to 30 days in advance. Therefore, the occupancy rate might improve to 25-30% this month, up from 18-20% last October, before reaching 35% in December.

Mr. Bhummikitti, however, claimed that hotel rates have recovered up to 60% of its pre-pandemic prices during the year-end vacations, which is lower than other areas such as Bangkok and northern provinces where supply and demand are more balanced.

Assuming that the pandemic situation stays stable over the winter and that the majority of Phuket residents obtain booster jabs, Phuket anticipates 1 million visitors or 40% of the 3 million who visited in the first 3 months of 2019.

India and Russia are big markets that tourist operators will need to avoid for the time being until they are included in the list of low-risk countries.

Mr. Bhummikitti told reports that despite recent increases of COVID-19 cases in Russia, Phuket maintains trust in its safety standards, with just 0.3% of tourist arrivals tested COVID-19 positive in the past 4 months.

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew told reports that the province prepared its public health system for the possible worst-case situation with 60% available beds and booster jabs above 50% of the population.

Meanwhile, the head of the Thai Hotels Association’s northern branch La-Iad Bungsrithong, said that Chiang Mai’s occupancy rate was 40% in the city and 60% on the outskirts in October.

Occupancy rates are likely to increase by 15-20% until December primarily due to domestic demand.

However, advance reservations from foreign travelers have not yet materialized in significant numbers, as travelers are waiting for the activation of the Thailand Pass system which would streamline the entry requirements.

Mrs. La-Iad said that Jeju Air was interested in conducting chartered flights in November. Korean Air will start flights to Chiang Mai on December 25 with 2 flights per week.

Source: Bangkok Post

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