Tourism changes gear in Phuket, Samui after relaxation of travel restrictions

MONDAY, MAY 16, 2022

Tourism in Phuket and Surat Thani's Samui Island is now bustling after Thailand reopened the country to foreign travellers on May 1, Government Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Monday.

He said up to 10,000 foreign tourists entered Thailand each day, while Thai entrepreneurs have reskilled their employees to meet with changes in tourists' behaviour due to the Covid-19 crisis.

"Thailand's tourism is changing as tourists are entering the country in small groups rather than large groups," he said.

He said 150,596 tourists had visited Phuket from Friday to Monday (May 13-16). They were expected to generate THB1.82 billion in revenue.

"The province's occupancy rate during such long holidays was 44.46 per cent," he said.

He expected the occupancy rate to rise to between 60-80 per cent, especially in famous tourist attractions, such as Patong Beach and Phuket Town.

Thanakorn added that many tourists flocked to Samui Island to participate in the Full Moon Party today, resulting in positive sentiment for tourism-related businesses in Samui and Pha Ngan islands. This famous event will be held again on June 14, he added.

"All this is due to the government's move to ease travel restrictions during the country's high season between March and May," he said.

He added that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged police and agencies in tourism provinces to ensure safety of Thai and foreign tourists.

"The premier also asked Thais to maintain a good tourism image to stimulate the economy and generate revenue for Thailand," he added.