Indian tourists are picking up Phuket’s Old Town economy

Phuket’s recovering tourism economy is picking up again thanks to Indian tourists. Indians have been the biggest tourist group in Phuket, and Thailand overall this year. Since May 1, over 72,000 Indian tourists have visited Phuket, according to the president of Phuket Old Town Tourism Community, Somyot Pathan.

Phuket’s ‘Old Town’ in the main city district is a particular hotspot for Indian visitors right now. The visitors are enjoying taking photos of the Old Town’s scenic architecture. Somyot said Indian tourists also like outdoor adventures at beaches and forests. These include go-karting and zip-lining. He told The Phuket Express…

“Many people don’t believe Indians spend money but they do, primarily at natural tourist attractions and fun places like water parks and island activities.”

Apart from the architecture and outdoor adventures, Indian tourists also love simply walking around and shopping in Old Town. Many businesses have now started to learn about Indian food, music, and culture, to help the tourists feel comfortable. Somyot noted that venues with Indian cultural atmospheres are more popular for Indian tourists than those with Western or Thai-style atmospheres.

Since ‘Thailand Pass’ was scrapped on July 1, the number of Indian tourists arriving in the kingdom has continued to increase. The Tourism and Sports Ministry predicted last month that Malaysians would replace Indians as Thailand’s biggest tourist group this year. But for now, Indians remain at the top, with 100,884 arriving between January 1 and May 24. Government Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said last month that Indian travellers could rake in as much as 22.5 billion baht in revenue for Thailand.