Long weekend generates B300mn for Phuket, says TAT


PHUKET: Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri has announced that the long weekend from last Thursday through to yesterday (Nov 19-22) has delivered a welcome boost to the island’s economy.

In total 53,970 tourists had come to Phuket over the four days, generating an estimated B300 million in revenues, Ms Nanthasiri said.

Of note, the figures given for the weekend indicate that the average expenditure per person was about B5,558.

According to TAT Intelligence Centre, that figure was even higher than the average expenditure for a Thai tourist to Phuket of B4,950 in 2018, long before the COVID-19 outbreak or even the economic slowdown last year.

Ms Nanthasiri explained that random checks of hotels on the island revealed that hotels over the weekend enjoyed occupancy rates of about 35%, with most guests staying two nights.

Ms Nanthasiri did not explain how many hotels were asked, or give any comparison on how many hotels across the island were still receiving guests.

Ms Nanthasiri pointed out that many of the tourists visited the Phuket Old Town area, especially Thalang Rd, Phang Nga Rd and Dibuk Rd, “to appreciate the architecture of the Sino-Portuguese shophouses”.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Nanthasiri said.

The long weekend was created by public holidays last Thursday and Friday declared by Cabinet earlier this year with the sole purpose of boosting domestic tourism throughout the country.

Ms Nanthasiri said that hotel bookings in Phuket had been gradually increasing, said a report by the Public Relations Department Region 5 office, based in Surat Thani.

“Most of the bookings so far have been made for weekends and long holidays. However, Thai people do not like to book their rooms a long time in advance, so the number of advance bookings is not very high,” Ms Nanthasiri said.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on November 23, 2020

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