British International School, Phuket
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Phuket Opinion: All the right moves

PHUKET: Even despite the flooding in areas across northern Phuket this week, many people on the island have good reason to believe that brighter days are coming.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 4 September 2022, 09:00AM

Photo: Phuket Info Center

Photo: Phuket Info Center

Among the key indicators that tourism recovery in actual numbers is on the horizon is the announcement by Phuket FantaSea CEO Kittikorn Kewkacha that the popular theme park, which although not to everyone’s liking has proved popular for two decades, will re-open on Sept 20.

It is by no coincidence that the reopening is to come just 10 days before COVID-19 is to be finally declared endemic in Thailand, and by no coincidence that Mr Kittikorn has overseen the spending of B6.6 billion in creating a new area of the park for visitors to meet that deadline.

In this, Mr Kittikorn has delivered on the one thing that many top-flight tourism officials seem to have forgotten. Instead of just begging people to come back and enjoy the Phuket of pre-COVID days – or just revisit to see what we look like now with 60% of hotels on the island still yet to re-open – Mr Kittikorn has given people a reason to revisit the theme park even if for nothing more than to check out the new area, ‘Carnival World’, which alone covers more than 100 rai.

The timing of the reopening also comes as the tourism airlift to Phuket is finally seeing the announcement of, or actual launch of, a slew of scheduled flights helping to boost tourism, all coinciding with the fast-approaching Oct 1 deadline.

Cancelling of Test & Go saw daily arrivals of tourists sneak above 4,000, where the figure remains, but the re-designation of COVID-19, and even maybe finally the end of the emergency decree, on Oct 1 may well have the result many people have been waiting for.

As recently reported, Vietnam Airlines has relaunched its direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Phuket and Firefly Airlines after two years has resumed its service between Phuket and Penang, with four direct flights a week, and Korean Air will launch four direct flights from Seoul to Phuket starting Oct 1.

tile-it - Phuket’s Quality Tile Boutique

Looking further down the track, AirAsia X last week announced it will be resuming direct flights from Melbourne and Sydney from Dec 1 and Dec 2, respectively. Initial promotion fares are touted at just under B6,000 one way.

The announcement was so much welcomed that Australian Ambassador to Thailand Dr Angela Macdonald joined the announcement, standing alongside Thai AirAsia X Acting CEO Tassapon Bijleveld. Historically, 20% of all Australian arrivals in Bangkok make their way to Phuket.

Smelling an opportunity before that, Air Asia X will start flying directly from Tbilisi, Georgia, to Bangkok from Oct 8. Georgia itself has never been a major source market for Phuket, but it is geographically located right “next door” to two other main source markets that currently are unable to fly Phuket.

More announcements of flight services to Phuket are expected as Oct 1 approaches. As said by every major figure involved in tourism, no one is expecting an instant return to the volume of tourists Phuket experienced in the years immediately preceding the pandemic. The global economic situation has seen to that. But the increased airlift will bring more tourists to our island. As simple as it gets, without these flights tourists simply cannot get here.

All this bodes well for a brighter outlook for many people on the island who have suffered heavily under the banner of COVID-19. The future is bright, but much work still lies ahead. We need to step up our efforts to keep our island clean, and work harder on making sure that our illustrious taxi drivers give tourists a better impression to carry home with them, if their experience has not already been posted all over the internet.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

* (Not Hotmail/Outlook)

Old guy | 04 September 2022 - 14:47:48

Good news just as long as these airlines haven't based any decision on anything proclaimed by TAT or other fake news. 

Kurt | 04 September 2022 - 10:27:53

Management Phuket FantaSea used the quiet Covid period well by renovating, extending, preparing it for 'After Covid time'. Great anticipation. Wish the Phuket Government made such a move the last 1.5 year by reforming the 'public transport'. More than a photo session of drivers in a uniform ( for the occasion) we have not seen/experienced. It remains Phuket largest anti tourism maf...

JohnC | 04 September 2022 - 09:35:22

It is not up to us to try and make this island more profitable. If locals can't get their acts together to encourage tourists to come back then what hope have expats got. All the problems are deeply intrenched and mostly rooted in greed, arrogance and ignorance. And let's be completely honest, there is no shortage of that here....


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Phuket Governor hosts Indonesian delegation

A lot of Phuket 'workers' taken from their work. Ooh, I missed the presence of manager direc...(Read More)

Grab taxi deemed ‘unauthorised’, driver fined, suspended over Kamala incident

Governor Woonciew must recognize that, via social media, tourists are learning about the taxi proble...(Read More)

Grab taxi deemed ‘unauthorised’, driver fined, suspended over Kamala incident

So the Grab driver gets a heftier fine than the taxi scum hitting the guy in the head with an axe. T...(Read More)

‘No closures’ when virus hits schools

Only 1.1% of over 5 million kids between 5-11 vaccinated 3 times? Why is that? Schools need full vac...(Read More)

Grab taxi deemed ‘unauthorised’, driver fined, suspended over Kamala incident

Great- the victim of intimidation gets punished. The poor woman must have been terrified. Pretty cle...(Read More)

Swedish man pulled from crashed car before flames engulf MG

Such a travesty that the famous MG nameplate is now attached to a piece of Chinese crap!...(Read More)

Grab taxi deemed ‘unauthorised’, driver fined, suspended over Kamala incident

What is the 'justified' reason that Crabtaxis only allowed in the green zones, as shown in t...(Read More)

Preparing Phuket for climate change

..Instead, a row of 5 shops could have been bought out to widen the right turn lane leaving all the ...(Read More)

Preparing Phuket for climate change

You could land a 747 on the Ban-Don to Thalang road which has been widened to EIGHT lanes in places...(Read More)

Grab taxi deemed ‘unauthorised’, driver fined, suspended over Kamala incident

PR Phuket, meaning of the announcement of Phuket Governor, saying..."Was decision of PLTO"...(Read More)