Phuket airport gears up for Lunar New Year influx of 49,000 daily visitorsLegacy

Phuket International Airport is bracing for an influx of around 49,000 visitors each day throughout the Lunar New Year festival, which commenced on Sunday and extends till February 16.

This figure was revealed by Monchai Tanod, the airport director, who also stated that the total number of arrivals during the 13 days is projected to reach a staggering 640,000. This tally includes an expected 430,000 international tourists. The airport, managed by Airports of Thailand, is set to accommodate 3,915 flights, comprising 2,298 international and 1,617 domestic, during this period.

In anticipation of the surge in passengers, the airport management has ramped up measures to ensure top-notch efficiency and safety. Enhanced real-time passenger tracking systems and common-use self-service kiosks have been introduced to expedite passenger check-ins and make the process more user-friendly.

In addition, the airport has been festively adorned to commemorate the Lunar New Year, with a host of activities planned and souvenirs to be distributed on February 8. Passengers departing from the airport have been advised to arrive two to three hours before their flights. Updates regarding flights can be accessed via the “SAWASDEE by AOT” app or through the airport’s contact centre, reported Bangkok Post.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is also anticipating an increase in Chinese tourists visiting Koh Samui this month, owing to both the visa-waiver scheme and the Chinese New Year.

Kanokkittika Kritwuthikorn, TAT’s director for Koh Samui, noted that the government’s visa waiver policy has positively impacted the island’s tourism sector. The first day of February saw a direct flight carrying 138 holidaymakers from China land at Samui airport. The expectation is that at least 5,000 Chinese tourists will visit the island this month.

In light of the Chinese New Year, Bangkok Airways has amplified the number of direct flights from Chongqing and Chengdu, two cities in southwest China, to Koh Samui to four days per week – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Approximately 4,000 Chinese tourists visited the island in January. Koh Samui ranks fourth on the list of most-searched destinations on the Chinese travel agency platform CTrip, following Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.

Kanokkittika attributes Samui’s popularity amongst Chinese travellers to promotional campaigns run by the Tourism Association of Koh Samui and collaborations between local tourism operators and their Chinese equivalents.

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Author: Mitch Connor