It was the beginning of this year when Thai Air Asia introduced direct flights to and fro Kunming, China and Phuket, Thailand. It was a happy news for business in Phuket including restaurants in Kata because higher arrivals means more business revenue for them from tourists spending on the island. During the said launch, the president of Air Asia in China, Kathleen Tan, was present together with the CEO of Air Asia in Thailand, Santisuk Klongchaiya. According to data, Phuket arrivals and departures reached almost 16.85 million in2017 while 44 per cent of them travelled to and fro the country onboard low-coast airlines.
Phuket Airport is located in Phuket, an island located in the southern part of Thailand. In 2017, it welcomed a total of 8.4 million arrivals which is 11.3 per cent higher compared to the previous year. The increasing number of tourists can be attributed to the 20 per cent increase in visitors coming from Mainland China. C9 Hotelworks, a consulting firm in the country, revealed that many of the visitors are now visiting the island even during the off-peak season. Majority of those coming to Thailand are looking for adventure while others are mainly young travellers that wanted to see more of the world.
Travelling is now a trend among the younger generation and the proof is evident in the increasing number of passengers being handled by Phuket Airport. In 2016, Phuket airport accommodated 15.11 million travellers and the number rose by 11 per cent to 16.85 million in 2017. The percentage of passengers who used low-cost carriers reached 44 per cent last year which is higher by 16 per cent than the previous year.
Looking at the figures in 2008, there has been an increase of 195 per cent in the number of passengers that the airport is handling in a single calendar year. Up until August of this year, Phuket Airport has already managed to accommodate 12.79 million passengers which is 13 per cent higher compared to the same period of last year. This is not surprising that restaurants in Kata also felt the boom in their business because of the increasing number of tourist arrivals.