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Phuket welcomes 4 million tourists in 8 months

Phuket welcomed four million domestic and international visitors so far in 2022, pumping 66 billion baht into the economy, according to Deputy Governor Pichet Panapong. 

In recent months, top holidaymakers in Phuket include Indians (120,000 visitors from May – September) and Australians (around 60,000 visitors between May – September).

Even with 3000 – 5000 tourists arriving on the island every day, international arrivals in Phuket are still at only 40% of pre-pandemic levels. Whereas domestic tourism to Phuket is at a rather impressive 85% of pre-pandemic levels, according to the governor. 

The only way is up for Phuket’s tourism industry, with Thailand’s High Season just around the corner. 

Phuket Vegetarian Festival – aka the Nine Emperor Gods Festival – will kick start the celebrations. The Taoist festival, which combines self-mortification with vegan food, will be held between September 25 – October 4.

The spectacle of ‘Masongs’ (human vessels for Taoist gods) piercing their cheeks with sharp objects, matched with delicious food, draws tourists into Phuket year in and year out. 

Thailand has officially decided to give tourists the option of longer stays by extending visas on arrival from 15 to 30 days and visa exemptions on arrival from 30 to 45 days, effective October 1.

The extensions are sure to lure tourists into Thailand, especially Phuket, which remains one of the most desired destinations among foreign tourists. 

Phuket is still missing revenue from Russians, who became the second largest international source market for the island’s tourism industry in the years leading up to the pandemic.

However, Aeroflot plans on resuming direct services between Russia and Phuket on October 30, 2022.

The government also plan to fly Russians into Thailand via chartered flights three times per week during High Season. The improved connectivity between Thailand and Russia could work wonders for the post-pandemic revival of Phuket’s tourism industry.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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