Phuket blasts Covid gloom with 2.6-billion-baht Chinese New Year weekend

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Phuket blasts Covid gloom with 2.6-billion-baht Chinese New Year weekend

Phuket blasts Covid gloom with 2.6-billion-baht Chinese New Year weekend

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2023

More than 158,000 Thai and foreign tourists visited Phuket over the Chinese New Year last weekend (January 21-22), generating 2.6 billion baht in revenue after three years of Covid devastation.

The island’s Old Town was bustling with visitors from Europe, Russia and China who came to take photos of the heritage Sino-Portuguese shophouses and purchase souvenirs. Thai tourists arriving for the weekend added to the crowds, filling streets that were deserted a year ago with holidaymakers. Locals on the tourism-dependent island were in a festive mood, driving out the Covid gloom with fireworks and crackers to welcome the Year of the Rabbit.

Phuket blasts Covid gloom with 2.6-billion-baht Chinese New Year weekend

Phuket is home to a large Chinese-Thai community with unique traditions rooted in history.

Phuket blasts Covid gloom with 2.6-billion-baht Chinese New Year weekend

Travel restrictions in China were lifted on January 8, just in time for Chinese travellers to book Lunar New Year holidays in the southern province.

Phuket blasts Covid gloom with 2.6-billion-baht Chinese New Year weekend

Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) director for Phuket, confirmed accommodation and attractions on the island were doing brisk business.

“Phuket’s hotel occupancy rate on January 21-22 was 71.96%,” she said, adding that Phuket Airport saw 121 flights over the weekend.

Phuket blasts Covid gloom with 2.6-billion-baht Chinese New Year weekend

The province’s local Chinese New Year festival continues this weekend, while traditional lanterns will light up the Old Town and Limelight Avenue mall until February 5.

Phuket blasts Covid gloom with 2.6-billion-baht Chinese New Year weekend

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