Hotels in Phuket report that all rooms are fully booked this weekend for Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, Bang-orn Chinaprayoo, the tourism authority director in Phuket, said on Wednesday.

“Hotel rooms in Khao Lak in nearby Phnag Nga province are also booked out from Feb 12 to 15,” Mrs Bang-orn said.

The average occupancy rate in Phuket stood at 90 per cent, which was very high.

She said most foreign tourists were coming from Asia and Europe at this time of year, which is the high season for Phuket and other coastal provinces on the Andaman Sea.

A large number of Thai tourists would also visit the resort island as hotels are launching tourism promotion campaigns to impress visitors.

She expected tourists will spend about 500 million baht in Phuket during the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day celebration.

Infrastructure services, if quickly improved, could promote a better investment climate in Thailand

The performance of Thailand’s telecommunications sector has come a long way in the last decade, particularly in terms of availability and use of affordable telephone service and growth of internet access. The telecommunications sector in Thailand is dominated by mobile communications. There are about 43 million mobile subscribers versus approximately 7 million fixedlines. Furthermore, growth in the mobile market remains strong compared to the fixed market, which is stagnant. Broadband network infrastructure is growing rapidly; however, it is still insignificant.

Phuket hotels fully booked

Revenue has fallen well below target during FY2009 as the domestic recession eroded government income from sources such as import duties and value- added tax. Parliament in June passed emergency legislation authorizing additional government borrowing beyond limits set under the budget law and it approved new debt issues of up to B800 billion. Monetary stimulus came from aggressive reductions in interest rates by the Bank of Thailand: from the start of December 2008 to April 2009 it lowered its policy rate by 250 basis points to 1.25%.

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