Russians back in Phuket

PHUKET, 6 February 2017: Russian arrivals are back to pre-crisis levels while zero-dollar tourism curbed Q4 growth rate according to the newly released C9 Hotelworks Phuket Hotel Market Update released Monday.

With airport arrivals surpassing 7.5 million passengers, Phuket experienced a sharp year-on-year rise of 18% in 2016, compared to 13% the previous year.

This was largely attributed to the resurgence of the Russian source market, which increased by 51% last year. The rebound was prompted by the strengthening of the ruble against the Thai baht and political volatility in the Middle East that shifted Russian tourists to the island during high season.

inside no 11Another notable source market for Phuket was mainland China, but arrivals were substantially affected after a nationwide crackdown on zero-dollar tourism in September  last year, according to  C9 Hotelworks.

Chinese visits to the island continued to grow, last year, but the growth rate softened from 35% slumping to a more modest 11%.

However, the impact from the new enforcement is expected to soften in early 2017 figures with more Chinese travellers over the week-long Chinese New Year late January.

There has been a significant change in the Department of Tourism and Sports’ revised hotel supply data to include both registered and unregistered tourist accommodations in late 2016, with Phuket now showing 81,727 keys in 1,744 establishments, C9 noted.

“The island has been successful in attracting new developments with more brand affiliated properties. Currently, the hotel pipeline has a total of 5,495 keys in 32 new hotels which are expected to come on stream by 2020,”  C9 reports.

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(Source: C9 Hotelworks)