The tropical holiday island of Phuket in Thailand is to get boost with a new direct air service. The Middle East carrier Qatar is to start a direct flight to the Andaman Sea hot spot as from November 2010. It will be the first direct connection from the Middle East to Phuket.
Qatar operates out of Doha and connects with most of the European cities including London. By offering this new service passengers who would normally have to route via Bangkok can fly direct having changed aircraft in Doha. Mr Pramoth Supyen, director for the Tourist Authority for Thailand (TAT) in Dubai , said the Middle East was of particular importance to the Thai tourism industry.
Some 450,000 from the region visited Thailand last year with a value to the economy of THB2 billion (£42.5 million).The average stay for Middle East visitors is 9 days according to TAT, with the majority of them traveling with family. The average daily expenditure per person is THB 5,000 Baht (£110).
Some of them travel for medical treatment. Thailand and Phuket have a reputation for some of the best medical care in the world. Apart from the Middle East client, Thailand can expect to see plenty of new business from Europe. With a direct connection through to Phuket visitors from Britain, France, Germany and Italy will look forward to the idea of not having to visit Phuket via Bangkok.
Qatar are regarded highly in the air travel business with awards for business class service. They have operated a Doha to Bangkok route for many years, and this new service will add to their success in serving South East Asia.