One runway and filling up soon
Bhuritt Maswongsa, Vice President of the Phuket Tourism Association, says that after flight slots are filled, which is soon – there will no be further growth.
Phuket has just a single runway, enough for 9.5 million arrivals and departures in 2012 but limiting for the future.
Airports of Thailand, which manages the Phuket facility, has never revealed details of plans for increasing traffic at Phuket from last year’s record.
The airport will be capable of coping with 12.5 million passengers once an international terminal is open in 2015-16. However, the facility will still have just one runway.
Target High Value Tourist
Khun Bhuritt believes that Phuket is not getting enough of the high value tourist. Tourists who once spent 4200 baht a day on Phuket were now spending 3500 to 3800 baht.
”The commitment to mass tourism means we have increasing numbers of people who are spending less on Phuket,” he said today.
”The result is that the Government has less money to spend to develop the proper infrastructure that Phuket needs.”
Bhuritt Maswongsa: “Unless Phuket catches up with its infrastructure needs, the best of times for Phuket tourism may be over.”
What are the Options?
1. Maintain arrival levels but aim for better margins by targeting high value visitors.
2. Land Acquisition / Reclamation / for existing airport extension or move airport to the mainland.
3. Follow Indonesia’s lead and diversify to other locations.
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