Phuket and Samui Expect Tourist Surge During Lunar New Year


Phuket International Airport is gearing up for an influx of tourists during the Lunar New Year festival, with an expected average of 49,000 daily arrivals until February 16.

According to Airport Director Monchai Tanod, the 13-day period will see an estimated total of 640,000 visitors, including 430,000 international tourists. The airport is set to accommodate 3,915 flights, with 2,298 international and 1,617 domestic flights. The airport has since enhanced its measures to ensure efficient and safe operations, including the deployment of more real-time passenger tracking systems and self-service kiosks for quicker check-ins.

The facility has also been adorned with festive decorations to celebrate the Lunar New Year and will host special activities and distribute souvenirs to visitors on February 8. Monchai advised outbound passengers to arrive at the airport two to three hours before departure, recommending the use of the “SAWASDEE by AOT” app or the airport’s contact center for flight information.

In addition, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) anticipates a surge in Chinese tourists visiting Koh Samui, bolstered by the visa-waiver scheme and the Chinese New Year celebrations. TAT’s Koh Samui Director Kanokkittika Kritwuthikorn highlighted the positive impact of the visa-waiver policy on local tourism, noting the arrival of a direct flight from China with 138 holidaymakers on February 1. With Bangkok Airways increasing direct flights from Chongqing and Chengdu to Koh Samui to four times a week, at least 5,000 Chinese tourists are expected on the island this month.

Koh Samui’s appeal to Chinese travelers is reinforced by its status as the fourth most-searched destination on the CTrip travel agency platform, following Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. This popularity is partly due to promotional efforts by the Tourism Association of Koh Samui and collaborations between local and Chinese tourism operators.

The preceding is a press release from the Thai Government PR Department.

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.