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patong

Phuket tourism in high gear with last-minute bookings

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I wonder if the Gazette report is just wild optimism by the TAT, or maybe it's because of all those wonderful news reports about Jet Skis, Tuk Tuks, and bar fights :rolleyes:

Phuket tourism in high gear with last-minute bookings

PHUKET: For the last few weeks, a steady rise in the island’s hotel reservations indicate a strong start for the 2010 tourism season.

According to the Phuket Tourist Association, which since 1980 began monitoring information and trends for the island tourism industry, hotel bookings have increased considerably compared with the same period last year.

According to Phuket Tourist Association president Somboon Jirayut, between the last week of December 2009 and the beginning of January, vacation rentals and hotel room reservations increased, with up to 90 percent of those reservations being last-minute bookings.

“With the high season just beginning, but already breaking records, the island’s hospitality business is encouraged. Many post-tsunami factors are contributing to increased tourism and luckily, Thailand's political climate has remained stable following the 2008 anti-government protests,†Mr Somboon said.

Mr Somboon added that additional flights to Phuket from Australia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore were a significant factor in the increase of tourists.

“Over the last year tourists’ behaviors have changed. In the past, most tourists made their vacation reservations at least one-year in advance. These days, however, most visitors book their rooms closer to their projected travel dates or even at the last minute,†he concluded.

http://www.phuketgazette.net/news/detail.asp?id=8215

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If the Phuket Tourist Association is a private deal, then I'd tend to believe this report....and that'd be good news for at least the Phuket area and maybe also a sign that things will pick up elsewhere in Thailand. I'd have to guess simply by observation that things are okay up here in Chiangmai but I wouldn't say that there's been any significant increase in tourists. For the Loy Krathong parade, it seemed to me that there were even fewer tourists than the prior year (and it wasn't good in 2008!). I spent a week in Hua Hin over Christmas and I actually thought by observation that there were a few less tourists than were around there last winter. But hopefully the numbers will go up soon in all locations.

[if the Phuket Tourist Association is a governmental deal - similar to TAT - then I stopped believing what they put out years ago. They'd report some increase and then the a hotel association (which is a private organization consisting of the hotel owners) would report the opposite.]

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