Ms Nanthasiri announced the news during a live interview broadcast alongside Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew yesterday (Mar 23).
“When tourists come, they create employment and business turnover at all levels. Even merchants, small vendors and villagers earn their income from tourism. More than 51 billion baht in the Phuket economy has been circulating,” she said.
“There were about 140,000 rooms [hotel and guest accommodation] before the COVID-19 outbreak, now more than 70,000 rooms are open,” she added.
However, only last month did Ms Nanthasiri report that from July 1, 2021 to Feb 21, 2022 that the true spending by Sandbox and Test & Go tourists was B18bn.
Only after a “multiplier effect” had been applied did the government recognise that B43bn had been “generated for the economy”, she admitted.
During the 215 days from July 1, 2021 to Feb 21, 2022, a total of 331,365 tourists had arrived in Phuket, she said.
Following her report yesterday, and according to the Phuket Reopening Daily Report issued by the TAT, some 72,820 tourists had arrived in Phuket during the past month, reportedly generating B8bn for the economy.
However, using the same “multiplier effect”, the true spending of the 72,820 tourists was B3.361bn. That figure gives an average spending per tourist of B46,159 during their stay in Phuket.
Ms Nanthasiri also did not report how many of those tourists had been ordered into quarantine during the “holiday” in Phuket, which would determine where a large portion of the spending by tourists is being done.
According to daily reports by the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO), in the past month a total of 1,239 international tourist arrivals have been ordered into quarantine after landing in Phuket, comprising 483 Sandbox tourists and 756 Test & Go tourists
Phuket officials do not report how many tourists are ordered into quarantine for being deemed high risk contacts.
Meanwhile, not recognised by Ms Nanthasiri in her announcement yesterday was the plunging number of tourist arrivals. During the past few months, the number of international arrivals landing in Phuket each day has averaged just over 3,000.
The number of international arrivals at Phuket airport yesterday (Mar 23) totalled 2,005.
On Tuesday the number of international arrivals landing in Phuket totalled was down to 1,893 for the day.