Since the beginning of 2006, tourism in Phuket, which decelerated seriously after the Tsunami at the end of 2004, has tends toward evident recovery. This is due to many supportive factors that have helped boost Phuket's tourism and tourist numbers resuming their confidence about the safety of Andaman coastal resort venues. In addition, the cooperation of the state and private sectors to expedite reviving tourism in Phuket, including services to support tourists, activities organized for the entire year to draw travelers in conjunction with steadily promoting Phuket in overseas markets, have all resulted in the international tourist market – which is a key market for Phuket tourism – exhibiting a growth which has been close to 2004, which was considered part of the golden era of Phuket tourism.
In 2005, Phuket tourism was seriously impacted by the heartbreaking Tsunami, causing the tourism market there to decelerate by 48 percent, when only 2.51 million travelers visited Phuket, compared to 4.79 million tourists in 2004. This number included only 1.32 million foreign tourists, against 3.50 million tourists in 2004; and 1.19 million Thai tourists, compared to 1.30 million of them in 2004. The drop reduced tourism income by 67 percent, with a value of only THB28,181 million, compared to THB85,671 million in 2004.
In 2006, KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) expects that Phuket tourism will have recovered well. It is anticipated that the number of tourists visiting Phuket will have risen by 87 percent, or 4.7 million travelers. Of this, 3.3 million travelers will have been international travelers, and 1.4 million domestic travelers. This should create an income of THB62 billion for Phuket tourism, rising by 120 percent. The major income (around 26 percent, or THB16 million) will go to accommodation such as that available at hotels and resorts. At this time, there are 500 hotels and resorts and more than 30,000 rooms altogether.
In 2007, the government sector via the Tourism Authority of Thailand will improve Phuket's tourism and the Andaman seacoast area to make it more of a world-class destination. That will increase the tourism competitiveness of Phuket as the gateway for Andaman regional tourism.
If there are no accidents or disasters to further impact Phuket, the tourism there will grow continuously in 2007. KResearch expects that tourists visiting Phuket will increase by 11 percent to 5.2 million people. Of this, 3.7 million travelers will be international visitors, and 1.5 million domestic travelers. Phuket's tourism income will rise by 19 percent, with a value of THB74 billion.
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