• Phuket’s crowds grow and grow

    23 October 2011

    As a tropical island destination Phuket continues to power ahead of rivals Bali and Koh Samui. The cancelling of the low season and rebranding it to summer season on Phuket is helping annualize tourism.

    Phuket passenger arrivals in the first 6 months were up 30% over the same period in 2010 and domestic arrivals increased by 11%, breaking the one million mark.

    Experts also point to the fact Phuket isn’t just attracting more tourists, but also gaining growth from the sought-after China and Russia markets.

    According to research conducted by C9 Hotelworks, mainland China tourists were the top travel producers for the first half of 2011, growing 103% compared to 2010. China holds the number one spot providing 13% of the source market, Russia is second with 12%. South Korean visits also rose 30% over the first six months of last year. “When you talk about pure tourism numbers on Phuket, Patong is still king,” says Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks. “Patong room occupancy was an amazing 82% in the first half of this year. With a new supply line of 6,968 rooms coming to Phuket by 2014, 68% of which will be located on the west coast, Patong is in for a huge growth spurt.”

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