Thailand Bounces Back Through Phuket

Traffic through Phuket is driving Thailand's tourism recovery. Passenger numbers through Phuket International Airport have increased 28 percent in the first half of 2010. In addition, this year has shown higher hotel occupancies in the region and a shift in the tourist profile that is driving the growth.

According to C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett, occupancies have risen from 61 percent in 2009 to 70 percent in the same period this year, although room rates have dropped an average of 9 percent.

"There could be some bumps in the road going forward," Barnett said in a statement. "But the hotel pipeline is still showing development resilience and investment confidence with the addition of 4,538 new rooms or an 11 percent spike over the next four years."

Barnett addressed the political crises in Bangkok earlier this year, saying that they caused a 38 percent drop in the second quarter, but the hotel impact was minimal seeing as this followed the high tourist season with increasing direct international flights that allow door-to-door access to the island.



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