Hotel bookings boom ahead of Chinese New Year

16 Jan 2012

People planning to visit Phuket for the forthcoming Chinese New Year festival should ensure they have a hotel booked. The island’s Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office says it expects up to 60,000 visitors to descend on Phuket for the annual holiday.  

The lunar festival celebrating the advent of the Year of the Dragon will be marked on Phuket from 23 to 25 January 2012. Local TAT director Bangornrat Shinaprayoon said hotels had already received lots of advance reservations which would see many of them with 90 per cent occupancy rates for the festival.

Ms Shinaprayoon added that most of the bookings seemed to have been made from mainland China. The opportunity of spending what is normally a cold time of year at home in a tropical location has been a major draw over the past few years for Chinese residents. 

Chinese settlers attracted by rich tin deposits and mining operations arrived on Phuket more than 200 years ago. In Phuket’s Old Town rows of quaint shophouses and colourful temples such as Sanjao Sam San, Put Jaw and Jui Tui attest to the ongoing influence that China has over Phuket.

The Chinese New Year itself will feature traditional dances, fireworks and firecrackers, and lots of unique gastronomic delights. The dragon dance through the Old Town’s streets is a spectacle not easily forgotten. 

In the town, mayor Somjai Suwansupapana has announced that municipal workers will pick up articles thrown out when Chinese people throw out unwanted items ahead of the New Year. The mayor said trucks would collect rubbish put out on the streets after 13:00 every day until Saturday. 

Tags: Hotel bookings

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