Increasing Tourist Arrivals to Phuket
According to recent statistics from Phuket International Airport, the number of passengers at the airport had reached more than 5.6 million in the first eight months of 2011. In August this year, Phuket International Airport had received a total of 714,845 passenger arrivals and departures.
International arrivals and departures had also increased by 34.13% as compared to last year while domestic travel had increased by 9.14%. With a strong growth expected for the Phuket tourism industry, more airlines had launched new direct flights to Phuket. International flights to Phuket have increased by 25.48% this year.
Phuket's airport is the second-busiest in Thailand, and the original plan in 2008, was to expand the airport in stages, so that by 2018, it can handle 12.5 million passengers per year. Due to rapid growth in the number of tourist arrivals, expansion had to start earlier than planned. The first phase began in October 2009, and further work continued in 2011. The initial budget was 5.8 billion baht for the whole project. The current expansion work will be completed in 2013, at a cost of 516 million baht.
As could be expected, the surge in tourist arrivals has meant that queues have become unbearably long, especially for international arrivals to Phuket International Airport. However measures have been put in place to combat this; according to a statement by the Superintendent of Phuket International Immigration, the shifts for officers have increased to 12 hours - from 8 hours - in order to cope with the increase in arrivals. The shift system means that platoons of immigration officers work two shifts of 12 hours, instead of three shifts of 8 hours.
In a further attempt to shorten the duration that tourists have to stand in queues, the airport is making use of both foreign and local volunteers, who will help process applications and fill in forms, so that foreigners don't have to struggle or wait too long. Theoretically, if forms are filled in correctly the first time round, each passenger will only take up a minute of an officer's time, thus allowing 500 passengers to be processed in less than half an hour.
More security staff have also been hired to speed up the luggage check-ins, and renovations have been done to accommodate the increased pedestrian traffic. The average number of planes that disembark, or take on passengers, is expected to be 168 per day for May 2011 to May 2012 - an increase of 12, 6 percent in comparison to the same period of 2010 to 2011.
“The fast growing passenger traffic will create more demand for hotels in Phuket,” commented Chris Comer, CEO of Castlewood Group, a commercial real estate developer based in Singapore. “Tourists are attracted to the white sandy beaches, tropical climate and beautiful scenery in Phuket.”
The 8over8 hotel, a project by Castlewood Group, will be situated in Phuket, near the beautiful Bang Tao Beach and Laguna Resort. It will be scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2013.
Castlewood Group are a commercial real estate company based in Singapore, they offer bespoke real estate solutions to investors. Their latest project, the 8over8 hotel in Phuket is Castlewood Groups first luxury hotel due for completion early 2013, with 8over8 hotels in Bali and Koh Samui to follow.
Castlewood Group Pte Ltd
26 Ann Siang Road,
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