“This new THAI route is vital as Phuket becomes ever more popular with tourists and travellers from China who can now conveniently come here for weekends, knowing they’ll find the world’s best beaches, a warm welcome, and unique local experiences that will provide amazing memories,” said Bangornrat Chinaprayoon, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office in Beijing.
“Phuket is a high-quality, must-see tropical destination and this new air access will allow tourists from our largest market to fly here directly with no hassles and start enjoying the beach and local culture as soon as they touch down.”
Joining the local welcome party at Phuket airport was Anoma Vongyai, who heads the TAT Phuket office. Of note, Ms Bangornrat of the TAT Beijing office previously served as Phuket TAT chief before her posting to China.
THAI is operating four flights per week on the new Beijing-Phuket route, using a 264-seat Dreamliner B787.
The route is being promoted under a “Phuket Express” campaign, leveraging the fact that tourists and travellers from China can now fly direct to the island.
With flights incoming from Beijing on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and outgoing flights on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, the service will allow travellers from Beijing to fly to Phuket for long weekend visits, arriving on Friday morning and leaving Sunday evening to be back at work on Monday.
The flight time is about five hours and 35 minutes for both the incoming and outgoing flights.
The TAT has five offices in China – in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Kunming, and Guangzhou – which are responsible for promoting and marketing Thailand to Chinese tourists and travellers.
In 2017, the TAT expects Thailand to attract at least nine million visitors from China and generate some B570 billion for the Thai tourism industry.
The three-day familiarisation trip will give travel agents and members of the media from China the chance to explore the natural and cultural attractions of Phuket.
The fam trip, co-hosted by the TAT and THAI, will showcase the best of Phuket’s natural and cultural attractions and its luxurious resort hotels. Travel agents and media members will also have the chance to sample some of the island province’s signature dishes. The trip will be based at the Marriott Resort and Spa Nai Yang Beach, which is said to have one of the best settings on Phuket.