Travel

Phuket to get nine million visitors

Supplied

CAPACITY at Phuket International Airport is expected to reach critical levels this year with the thriving tourist destination expected to handle a staggering nine million passengers in 2012, according to a report released by C9 Hotelworks.

C9 Hotelworks managing director and publisher ThePhuketInsider, Bill Barnett

The airport is officially capable handling a total of 6.5 million passengers per year but the extraordinary growth of Phuket has propelled arrival numbers way beyond expectations and there are increasing fears of overcrowding and disruption to services.

Last year the airport already exceeded stated capacity by 30 per cent with a total of 8.4 million passengers travelling through the terminal, and while the Thai government recently reignited a $USD180 million expansion plan including the addition of a new international terminal, the anticipated completion date is not until 2015.

C9 Hotelworks' Hotel Market Update 2011 also reported that island-wide accommodation occupancy was 75 per cent for the year - in another milestone for the destination.

C9 Hotelworks managing director, Bill Barnett commented that in a year underscored by global media attention on Bangkok's political crisis, Brand Phuket had continued to swim upstream with a remarkable sense of demand driven agility.

But despite the new historical highs, there is a paradoxical progression of mass tourism, with the surge in demand creating issues for the destination's famed infrastructure.

"Clearly planning is behind the 8 ball with a 2015 date now firmly on the horizon. But with the upgrade only set to accommodate 12.5 million passengers, the new airport may be redundant by the time it hits the market," said Mr Barnett.

One of Phuket's major regional competitors Bali is seeing a fast track expansion of a new terminal for overseas passengers now set to open in time for APEC 2013. According to the airport authority at Ngurah Rai International Airport Denpasar, once completed the facility will be able to accommodate 25 million travellers.

C9 Hotelworks' Hotel Market Update 2011 shows that more direct airline access from abroad is reflected in Australia, China and Eastern Europe now commanding a 32 per cent share of the international marketplace.

Analyzing the precarious growth model that Phuket is following Barnett added: "Effective destination management rather than marketing is at the heart of the matter and what is required for the island to achieve long-term sustainable growth.

"A national government agenda is urgently needed to address growing transportation, rising crime and regulatory issues. By 2015 the total rooms on the island are forecast to exceed 50,000."

>> Read more travel stories.

Topics:  phuket, thailand, travel, travelling


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Yann Martel on novels: "Like building cathedrals in the mind”

Yann Martel is a Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, an international bestseller published in more than 50 territories.

The writer of Life of Pi introduces his new novel in Byron Bay

Our rail could roll again on Byron line

BACK IN THE DAY: The old motorail express leaving Byron. The picture comes from the book Time and Tide Again courtesey of W. Brian Alexander

Friends of the Byron Line will be founded today.

Latest deals and offers

Byron Bay Brewery will reopen next month

The iconic Byron venue will re-open after six weeks of renovations by new owners Lion Co.

Yann Martel on novels: "Like building cathedrals in the mind”

Yann Martel is a Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, an international bestseller published in more than 50 territories.

The writer of Life of Pi introduces his new novel in Byron Bay

Our rail could roll again on Byron line

BACK IN THE DAY: The old motorail express leaving Byron. The picture comes from the book Time and Tide Again courtesey of W. Brian Alexander

Friends of the Byron Line will be founded today.

Single-day tickets on sale for each date of Falls Festival

LAUNCH: The Avalanches' Robbie Chater and Tony Diblasi were the official DJs at the Byron Bay launch of Falls Festival 2016/17.

Find out when is each artist playing this year in Byron Bay

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

You are going to Falls for this music line-up

CONFIRMED: Local artist Bernard Fanning is part of the line up for Falls Festival Byron Bay.

The line-up and ticket purchase details have been announced.

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

Byron Bay Brewery will reopen next month

ENTERTAINMENT: For years, the Byron Bay Brewery has been an important venue for local artists to showcase their creations.

It has been closed for six weeks of renovations

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

Yann Martel on novels: "Like building cathedrals in the mind”

Yann Martel is a Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, an international bestseller published in more than 50 territories.

The writer of Life of Pi introduces his new novel in Byron Bay

This year 4 schoolboy outscores Aussies at Pokémon champs

He's now a celebrity in the schoolyard.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep