According to phuketwan.com the latest statistics for guest arrivals on Phuket confirm that the second half of 2008 began exceptionally bad and has set very low expectations for the following high season of 2009 – including the scandinavian tourists.
The figures, supplied by resorts, hotels and guesthouses to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, show a year on year decline of 43 percent. That is alarming if the tourist and travel industries had not adapted over the past six months to anticipate low numbers of this kind. Because the statistics take so long to compile, they are of almost historic interest, outpaced daily by the world economic downturn, local political turmoil and this week by a global flu scare.
Sweden has dipped to 9534, which mean a downfall of 16 percent while Denmark has with 6332 visitors dropped down alarming 41 percent and Finlands 1957 tourists is 44 percent lower than last year. Norway on the other hand only dropped 4 percent compared with last years 4309 visitors on the island.
The total for Thais dropped 27.42 percent to 148,549, with expat travel in isolation down by 47.34 percent, to 368,885.
Almost inevitably, the figures are difficult to reconcile against flight arrival and departures. Latest arrival figures for Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok in March 2009 show consistent declines in numbers, but not to the same extent as the alarming Phuket-numbers.