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Phuket Tourists’ Interests Broaden Farther Away From The Beach

The recent influx of Russian and Chinese tourists over the last two to three years, has given way to an increased interest in attractions and activities away from Phuket’s aqua beaches. It’s becoming more than just fun and sun in the sea and sand, where in this case these vacationers don’t need their Raybans and Coppertone.

Just a short trip inland away from the ocean waves, there are significant numbers gravitating toward a more contemporary setting which are reaping the benefits of these mass markets – shopping malls. The two leading havens responsible for this trend are – Jungceylon Mall and Central Festival.

At the beginning of 2013, the retail goliath Central Retail Corporation (CRC) revealed they were planning an expansion on the island totalling an approximate US$332 million. This will include high-end fashion stores, a mammoth entertainment complex, and also a convention centre to name a few.

The region’s renown and credible C9 Hotelworks, stated that through their extensive research, they uncovered data indicating tourist expenditures was significantly geared toward major shopping complexes.

These mega entities draw in an impressive 73% of Phuket’s market share. Coming in second at 16%, are the popular entertainment venues – Siam Niramit and Fantasea. Thorough research in the consumer market revealed that visitors’ hotel expenses amounted to 30%, and retail shopping totalled approximately 24%.

Due to the tremendous yearly rising numbers, the island’s international airport is nearly bursting at the seams, if not overflowing. It catered to an astounding 9.5 million arrivals in 2012, which surpassed its capacity by 47%. Add to this an estimated 13% swell in subsequent annual growth.

Compare this to the region’s other acclaimed destination – Bali, where their arrivals diminished from 22% in 2011 to only 4.5% in 2012. All the while Phuket experienced an upswing of 16% the same year. The research conducted by C9, indicates that the substantial number of flights from these up and coming Russian and Chinese markets has been the primary distinguishing factor.

Presently, the island continues to experience a transforming shift concerning its tourism market. Subsequently, visitors’ changing interests, demands and related activities will progressively be taking place away from the white sands and palm tress.

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