Passenger traffic through Phuket International Airport during the first half of this year surged 28 per cent compared to a year earlier – marking a dramatic recovery for Phuket as the island resort province leads Thailand’s tourism revival and a return toward the boom statistics of 2007.
According to the mid-year edition of the Phuket Hotel Market Update, a research publication released today by leading hospitality consulting firm C9 Hotelworks, the road to recovery has firmly begun with higher hotel occupancies and a “game changing” shift in tourist profile that is driving growth.
C9's Managing Director Bill Barnett says that one clear indication of the bounce back are the hotel-wide performance statistics, with occupancies rising from 61% per cent in 2009 to 70 per cent in the same period this year, although this did come at a cost to average room rates – down 9 per cent.
But the longer term implications of the shift away from European visitors looks likely to have a more telling impact on Phuket as it begins to deliver the metrics prevailing prior to the dawn of the global economic crisis in 2008.
Rich in statistics, a free copy of the eight-page Phuket Hotel Market Update will be available in all copies of the Phuket Gazette newspaper due out tomorrow afternoon.