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Demand for cheaper Phuket travel

PHUKET: Tourism operators in Phuket are urging airlines to slash their prices as the island’s image as an expensive destination is seen as harming travel opportunities, especially without the huge Chinese market, which accounted for 40% of business before the pandemic.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 18 October 2022, 09:02AM

Tourists examine items on sale as they stroll along walking street in Phuket Town. Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran

Tourists examine items on sale as they stroll along walking street in Phuket Town. Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran

Thanet Tantipiriyakit, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said local travellers remained a vital market for the tourism industry as the international market has not yet fully recovered, largely because of muted demand in China, reports the Bangkok Post.

He said local tourists accounted for the largest number of airport arrivals, at around 8,000-9,000 passengers per day, while there are currently around 4,000 foreign arrivals per day, down from more than 5,000 earlier this month.

However, the most critical obstacle for domestic travellers at the moment is expensive airfares.

Domestic travellers have the opportunity of visiting neighbouring countries rather than Phuket as the airfares are similar.

Phuket had been perceived as an expensive destination among local travellers since before COVID-19. Although room rates and the cost of living remain affordable at the moment as hotels are keeping prices low to attract tourists, the expensive airfares will deter them from visiting the island,” said Mr Thanet.

He said that without advance bookings, a round-trip fare could cost around B10,000 per person.

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This rate has an impact on tourists travelling as a group, such as families, as the price of a visit would be inflated.

Mr Thanet said Phuket International Airport has a maximum capacity of 480 inbound and outbound flights per day, but the capacity prior to the pandemic stood at 200-300 flights per day.

Despite Thailand’s reopening, the number of flights at the airport currently stands at around 100 flights per day, which means the airport still has slots available for airlines to expand their services in the upcoming high season.

Mr Thanet said the low number of flights was partly due to the lack of international chartered flights from China and Russia, with direct scheduled flights yet to fully resume.

“With a lot of available slots for domestic carriers, we would like them to increase flights to Phuket, which will consequently help reduce the average airfare if there are more seats filling up this market,” said Mr Thanet.

He added that the flooding situation in the province had now eased, following downpours at the weekend. While parts of Phuket had taken a heavy toll, most of the island’s beaches remained intact.

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Kurt | 21 October 2022 - 06:54:06

@Pascale, with no "High Season" Thailand bookings I meant not the usual large High Season tourist figures. ( I should have written that more clear)

christysweet | 20 October 2022 - 11:22:14

Sure the west coast beaches are fine but  roads to them are flooded- and more rain is forecast next 2 days. The only beach road connecting north and south Phuket is collapsing into the sea. That 10,000 baht R/T fare is from where? 

Pascale | 20 October 2022 - 10:37:52

   "No bookings to Thailand in Europe until April 2023"  What a load of BS. 

Kurt | 20 October 2022 - 06:28:17

Do Phuket Tourism Operators keep feeling with tourism industry in countries were the tourists have to come from? If so, than they should know that there in Europe totally no 'High Season' Thailand bookings are until April 2023.

Kurt | 19 October 2022 - 14:22:28

Tourism operators have to face the reality of this time, and adjust their business accordingly. Same as airlines do theirs. Easy time, during which they could earn easy money while sleeping are over. Now it needs skills and hard work to survive. Expect a remediation in this field on Phuket. The best will survive.

Kurt | 19 October 2022 - 09:40:46

Read in BP: Covid
policy of China delays return of chinese tourists,....until end 2023!

JohnC | 19 October 2022 - 09:09:59

Tour operators should be urging their taxi service colleagues to slash their prices and behave like professionals. They are doing much more harm to Phuket's image as a safe destination to travel than any flight ticket prices ever will. Come to Phuket, be abused and threatened by taxi drivers before you even leave the airport...

Kurt | 19 October 2022 - 04:03:13

Dek should know that betting seldom make you a winner. :-)
And Reactionair Dek plays as always again over and over the same song on his drama-flute about leaving/relocating of the other who's comment he doesn't like. No inspiration of himself to comment. Just reacting to acid. 

Prab | 18 October 2022 - 21:04:50

Phuket Hotel Association!!! they still there and asking international company to lower their fare??? really?? can't they ask their own friend/family member of this mafious organisation in this jungle to cut Taxi cost? tours cost? sky jet? alcohol tax? etc?? ....the usual thai story and it is always easy to ask or blame farang company...wake up PHA and time to a total reshuffle of the whole tea...

DeKaaskopp | 18 October 2022 - 13:10:16

@ Kurt   I am willing to bet that the number of tourists will come back to pre Covid times in the near future. Maybe not the kind of tourists you would like to see, but they will come. Still enough time for you to plan ahead a possible relocation.

Kurt | 18 October 2022 - 12:01:23

... , coz one ask ending cemented corruption.  Slowly but sure Phuket embedded corruption coming years will lower down Phuket on list of tourist destinations. (Same as Thai university ranking year after year goes down). Tourist wise Phuket will never become again what it. was. And hard leather as 'Phuket' is, it will lay the blame with external factors and not look in own house.

Kurt | 18 October 2022 - 11:52:46

Expensive Phuket better lower its prices. It is seen the time we live in overpriced. And start with Phuket image enhancement!  Stop dual pricing, stop the idiot 'may yes, may not drive areas as a taxi. Cut out the mafiose tourist transport cartels. Let taxi's function as they do in BKK, KUL, S'pore. Is that so difficult to understand? I know that is dreaming, coz one ask ending cemente...

Kurt | 18 October 2022 - 11:43:55

International are air fares sky rocketing due to high fuel prices, longer flying routes to avoid war zone Russia-Ukraine. There are now even european airlines starting to minimise long-haul flights. It saves fuel costs and create over-demand for remaining scheduled flights, and so higher ticket prices. Not realistic to demand cheaper ticket prices now by local tour operators. Expensive Phuket bett

Fascinated | 18 October 2022 - 09:55:06

Unfortunately can't edit posts. All my recent round trip flight to Swampy costs have been in the region of 2k- not sure where he is getting the 10k cost from- has he borrowed TAT's inflato-lator?

Fascinated | 18 October 2022 - 09:53:21

Of course airfares should be expensive- this is a 'high end, quality destination' doncha know! Wouldn't want the riff-raff cluttering up the place would we! I wish they'd make their minds up. I call BS on the arrival figures as well, based on my recent time at the domestic airport.


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