Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) highlights destination wedding attractions, sustainability norms and new health guidelines.

Q: What can Indian travellers expect from Thailand in new-normal days ahead?

B: India is one of Thailand’s most rapidly growing market and the biggest source market for visitors from South East Asia. There has been growth in the number of high-spending Indian tourists visiting Phuket for weddings, incentive trips, and high-end events. The destination has a lot more to offer other than just its natural heritage sea, sky, sand and world-renowned diving sites.

Thailand welcomed nearly 2 Million Indians in 2019. This surge of Indian tourists has been an important aid to Phuket. Indian arrivals to Phuket in 2019 increased year-on-year by 298%, mainly as a result from the introduction of low-cost airlines direct flights from Bengaluru, Delhi, and Mumbai. Due to the pandemic, there are new guidelines put in place for higher safety standards which will reinforce confidence in the tourism health and hygiene standards and ensure safety of all travellers.

Q: Is Phuket looking to welcome small Indian weddings and special occasion celebrations? Is Phuket’s hospitality sector equipped for the days ahead?
Phuket’s landscape is dotted with many scenic and romantic beach locations, apt for Indian destination weddings. The affordability of luxury, unique Thai hospitality, strong cultural connections, and accessibility with ample Indian food choices has added momentum to tourist movement from India to Phuket. The wedding industry was paralyzed as a result of the pandemic, but it is bouncing back with adjustments to cope with the new reality with the increasing health and safety parameters.

The hospitality sector is currently following strict guidelines in compliance with the government regulations. Temperature readings are mandatory at the entrance, not only for the bride, groom and wedding guests, but this also implies for all hotel associates and vendors involved. Since social distancing must be put into practice, ceremony venues will have more spaced-seating and fewer tables, which might even be an opportunity for new creative arrangements. Most venues are providing a sit-down dinner option in addition to the traditional self-serving buffet lines, avoiding long queues and crowds which may pose as a risk.


Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) highlights destination wedding attractions, sustainability norms and new health guidelines.

Q: What measures have been taken to ensure safety and hygiene is maintained during tourist season? Tell us about sustainability measures in Thailand.
In May 2020, The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in collaboration with the public and private sector partners, introduced an ‘Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration: SHA’ certification. The project is part of TAT’s efforts to alleviate the impacts of the pandemic and stimulate recovery in the tourism segment. Sustainability is a cultural requirement in Phuket.

Eco-friendly projects in Phuket are open for tourists for participation in volunteer projects to learn and observe the marine wildlife in low-impact manners. In private sector, majority of the hotels and resorts are committed to environmental practices, they embraced the sustainable garden-to-table culinary approach, implemented plastic waste free policy, supporting ethically sourced materials, and recruiting associates from the local community.

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