This year’s Phuket Vegetarian Festival is expected to generate more than B3.4 billion, leading Phuket tourism officials have revealed.
“Right now we are seeing an average hotel occupancy of 72% from the more than 53,000 rooms [officially recognised] available in Phuket,” said Anoma Vongyai, Director of Tourism authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office.
“That number is expected to rise during October because of the festival, government holiday, Chinese National Day and school holidays,” she added.
“The booking rate along street procession routes in Phuket Town during the last three days of the festival is already at about 90%, which means we will have more than 270,000 people travelling to Phuket and generating about B3.4 billion for tourism (during the festival),” Ms Anoma pointed out.
The nine-day annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival, which began on Saturday (Oct 1), this year has so far attracted large numbers of tourists from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Russia India and Middle Eastern countries, Ms Anoma said.
“Tourism this time of the year is robust and alive. We will see many tourists from all over the world, especially Chinese tourists, which lately have begun to increase after the number of arrivals fell about 15-20% over the past two months,” she added.
The number of Chinese tourist arrivals plunged after officials launched a blitz on “zero-dollar” tour companies operating in Thailand. (See story here.)
In light in the healthy resurgence in the number of tourists to Phuket, Ms Anoma noted that many areas away from Phuket Town, where most of the Vegetarian Festival ceremonies will take place, will also benefit.