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Phuket Beach Loses Its Popularity

News In its latest report, the Phuket-based firm C9 Hotelworks shows that there is a dynamic shift in the taste of tourists who arrive in Phuket. If earlier tourists came to Phuket to enjoy its internationally renowned beach, in 2012 tourists preferred other activities rather than sunbathing and swimming.

According to the report, Phuket is very popular with Russian and Chinese travellers. In 2012, visitors from these countries accounted for as many as 38% of all international arrivals through airports. More than three million visitors from the abovementioned countries arrived in the island in 2012. This year, Phuket is expected to be visited by more tourists from Asian countries, as the island becomes more popular with Asian middle class. The research performed by C9 shows that these days tourists come to Phuket to shop and entertain rather than to swim and to sunbath.

The total spending of tourists in 2012 signifies that their weight was almost equal to the weight of accommodation spending. An average Phuket visitor spent 30% on accommodation and 24% on retail shopping in 2012. Large shopping malls benefit greatly from overseas tourists, so there is no wonder why Retail Corp. announced the building of the new US$332 million mega entertainment center with numerous retail shops, boutiques, and a convention center.

However, there is a definite problem with the main transport hub of the island – Phuket International Airport. In 2012, the airport processed 9.5 million visitors. This is 47% more than the capacity of the airport. Nevertheless, in 2012 the total occupancy of hotels in Phuket was 76%. Patong experienced the strongest growth of occupancy, especially in the luxury segment, where it added 9%. Phuket is also an attractive market for investors, and more than 4,000 new guestrooms are to be added by 2016.


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