Phuket Arrivals Hit All Time High In 2017, Low Season Ends Close To High Season
The island of Phuket, and the neighbouring regions, such as Phang Nga, has managed to attract a great deal of tourists from China and across the world to its many attractions, Similan Island Diving among one of them. Data from hospitality consultancy firm C9 Hotel works says that Phuket set a new record of arrivals in 2017, with 8.4M tourists, a marked increase of 11.3% from 2016.
The data was released in C9’s Phuket Hotel Market Update Report, which also noted that Phuket’s average monthly arrivals clocked in at 641,863 during the low season, which was notably strong for the area. The high season’s average, meanwhile, sat at 759,703 arrivals, showing a notable reduction in arrivals between the peak months and the weak months.
C9 attributes this to several factors, one of which is the spectacular double-digit growth China, one of Thailand’s major tourism sources, is experiencing. Another key market that popped up during Phuket’s May-October low season was the Australian market, accounting for 55% of market wide occupancy, compared to China’s 55%.
Smith Travel Research (STR), a hospitality market data and benchmarking company based in Tennessee, also had data on Phuket’s increasing hotel occupancy rates. Their data shows similar increased performance in hotels in the area, with occupancy going up to 77%, though the number of hotels in the area have led to the median room rate going up a bit, to Bt3,740 (US$116.20).
Bill Barnet, Managing Director for C9, says that Phuket’s hoteliers need to consider the change in geographic segments as the market shifts. He says that Phuket International Airport is the entry point used by tourists getting into the nearby areas, like Khao Lak. He says that lower pricings and a large number of beachfront options have reaped the benefits of the growing Australian and Chinese tourism markets.
However, he points out that while arrivals go up, the average stay duration has shortened due to the regional market’s attention. Another thing worth noting, he says, is that Airbnb and its kind; shared economy offerings, have grown at such a pace as to prove a worthy competition to traditional hospitality options, so while there will be more tourists travelling to Phuket for Similan Island Diving or for whatever reason they desire, the hotels might not experience as much growth as they expect.