Russian Tourists Spearhead Foreign Arrivals in Phuket


Phuket is seeing more activities from tourists, as tourism is now at 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to the director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Office in Phuket.

Ms. Nantasiri Ronsiri Thursday said that the number of visitors to Phuket from January to December 2022 totaled 9.26 million, with 53.6% being domestic tourists and 46.4% being international tourists, pumping into Phuket 233.38 billion baht in tourism revenue throughout the year.

“Before the pandemic, Phuket had a tourism revenue of 400 billion baht,” said Nantasiri, “And now we are at 200 billion baht, so that means a 50% recovery.”

She continued that foreign tourists attributed 70% of the entire revenue while Thai tourists accounted for 20%.

Meanwhile, the top 10 countries in terms of the number of arrivals to Phuket over the last year were:

  1. Russia
  2. India
  3. Australia
  4. England
  5. Singapore
  6. Germany
  7. Malaysia
  8. Kazakhstan
  9. South Korea
  10. America

Nantasiri noted that it is surprising to see Kazakhstan and America on the list, adding a large group of Kazakh tourists generally choose to land and stay in Phuket for a few days before taking a trip to other destinations, such as Bangkok or Samui island.

As for Thai tourists, many chose to visit Phuket over the New Year’s Day period but still could not beat foreign tourists.

In the middle of January, 2023, Nantasiri said Phuket welcomed three fights from China, which mostly carried business people. However, big Chinese tour groups are set to arrive in Phuket as soon as they receive visas.

She stated that the hotel occupancy rate is at about 80%, with some places reaching 90-95%. However, certain hotels are not fully open yet, because some hotels lack the funds to restart their operations.

“Our objective for 2023 is to attract a minimum of 12 million international and domestic tourists to Phuket, while the overall target for Thailand is to welcome 23 million visitors.” Nantasiri concluded.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.


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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.