Thailand ViewPoint: 30 Years of the Phuket Market
07 Aug 2018
With 8.4 million visitors in 2017 alone, Phuket is currently Thailand’s most popular island destination. The number of visitors set a new record for the fourth consecutive year. Looking back at past years, the island has undergone significant developments before transforming into what it is today.
In the old days, Phuket was an isolated island that served foreign backpackers with only a handful number of small resorts. Gradually, the number of tourists grew after the completion of the Sarasin bridge in 1967. In the 1980s, Phuket island became more well-known with key developments such as Amanpuri, the first luxury hotel and villa which opened in 1987.
Phuket Airport first began offering international flights in 1984; this made the island even more popular among tourists. In 1988, the Phuket Airport was taken over by Airport of Thailand (AOT) and has been upgraded to serve up to 966,294 passengers. The ability to serve as an international airport has allowed the Phuket Airport to continually increase its capacity and number of passengers.
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