Phuket, Pearl of the Andaman, remains star attraction in southern Thailand


PHUKET, April 16 – Tourism in Thailand’s southern region, particularly in the resort town of Phuket, widely known as the Pearl of the Andaman Sea, remains bright and positive, according to the Thai Hotels Association (THA).

Krisada Tansakul, president of the THA Southern Chapter, said the political crisis has not hindered tourism in Phuket which has enjoyed continued growth since early this year.

He said hotel occupancy will drop slightly after the Songkran festival but tourists from neighbouring countries including China, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia will continue coming, contributing to an overall positive trend for the entire year.

Hotel bookings this year have improved compared to last year and a survey by the THA Southern Chapter found a 60-70 occupancy rate for three- and four-star hotels, he said.

He said the association has cooperated with tourism-related businesses in penetrating overseas markets by organising road shows to Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese cities late this month, and to Sapporo, Hokkaido of Japan in June.

There will be major events during the year-end high tourism season, he said, adding that many tourists fly directly to Phuket without making a stopover in Bangkok.