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Flood Of Chinese, Russian Visitors Make Phuket As Top Tourist Destination In Asia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Tourist arrivals in Phuket, Thailand continue to surge in the first three months of 2018, further affirming the island’s reputation as among the busiest holiday destinations in Asia and likely in the rest of the world. The inflow of passengers passing through the Phuket International Airport surged by 19.3 percent by the end of March this year, a new report said.

The latest figures indicated some 2.7 million travellers went to Phuket in the past 12 months ending in March 2018, hospitality consulting firm C9 Hotelworks reported.

“The island ranks amongst leading global markets in terms of sustained demonstrated growth,” the report said, adding the incredible growth was notably spurred by the recent renovation and expansion works made on the Phuket International Airport.

China, Russia Leading The Pack

As seen in the past few years, China remains the top market that is attracted to Phuket. C9 said Chinese tourist arrivals on the island registered a total number of 660,813, amounting to nearly 50 percent of year-on-year jump.

Visiting Russians came next with 47 percent of increase from the same period in 2017. Over 300,000 tourists from Russia made their way to Phuket during the observed months.

Together, the two nationalities dominated the tourist arrivals in Phuket during the period, followed by the Germans, Swedish and Aussies.

Of note, according to the C9 report, is that the data includes only international tourist arrivals coming in from the island’s international airport. It is believed that a big chunk of foreign visitors did arrive via the domestic route, indicating that the actual number of holidaymakers in Phuket in the last 12 months could be significantly higher.

Phuket Arrivals Heading North Further

It is likewise expected in the coming months that Phuket will continue to draw in big number of foreign visitors following the forced shutdown implemented on two of the most popular tourist attractions in Southeast Asia. The Philippine government ordered the 6-month closure of Boracay Island last April while Thailand will do the same on Maya Bay, though the latter will only last four months.

Most likely, foreign visitors prevented from entering the two locked-down vacation spots will turn to Phuket, Thailand instead as Boracay and Maya Bay close down for business in order to conduct rehabilitation works on the supposedly degraded environment of the islands.