Tourism Recovery Begins
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has reported that in the first month of the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ programme since its launch on 1st July, 2021, over 14,000 foreign tourists visited Phuket and the revenue they generated for the local economy amounted to Bt829 million.
For the period of 1st – 31st July, 2021, total international arrivals amounted to 14,055, with the largest source market being the USA with 1,802 arrivals. This was followed by the UK with 1,558 arrivals, Israel with 1,455 arrivals, Germany with 847 arrivals and France with 839 arrivals.
TAT expects 100,000 foreign tourists will visit Phuket in the Third Quarter 2021 (July – September) and inject some Bt8.9 billion of revenue into the local economy.
Fully vaccinated and able to enter Phuket without the need to quarantine, as the Phuket Sandbox programme allows, these first tourists to return to Thailand as it begins to gradually reopen to tourism came on direct international flights operated by major airlines from points around the world. This included Thai Airways International (THAI) from Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Paris, London and Zurich, Singapore Airlines from Singapore, Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi, Emirates from Dubai, Qatar Airways from Doha and EL AL Israel Airlines from Tel Aviv.
Accommodation-wise, the arrivals for July saw 190,843 room nights booked at SHA Plus certified hotels. August has a further 109,694 room nights in advance bookings and September another 9,182 room nights, altogether amounting to 309,719 room nights for the July – September period.
July’s actual number of room nights far outperformed the advance bookings of 106,883 nights on the books at the beginning of July. August and September, too, are now significantly ahead in advance bookings than at this time, resulting in the current total of advance bookings for July – September almost tripling the earlier figure.
The Bt829 million in revenue for July included Bt282 million spent on accommodation, Bt194 million on the purchase of products and services, Bt175 million on food and beverage and Bt124 million on health and medical services. Among the 14,055 tourist arrivals, the average cost of their vacation to Phuket was Bt58,982.
Crucially, one of the key benefits of the Phuket Sandbox programme has been the creation of Bt210 million in salaries for the local employees in the accommodation, restaurant and other sectors.
Main image: Arek Socha from Pixabay.