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Phuket is transforming from a beach getaway to urbanised holiday spot

Non-beach-related activities hold their own in the popular Thai resort hub amid improving air linkages

Phuket is transforming into a more well-rounded destination as a preponderance of visitors takes advantage of the Thai resort island’s expanding air transport infrastructure.

Tourists as well as property seekers are finding new purpose in the renowned island in the Andaman Sea: spending time and money on activities not necessarily related to the beach.

Almost 200,000 square meters’ worth of premium-grade leasable retail spaces are in the pipeline for Phuket, offering travellers and new residents options beyond the sand and surf, a new report by hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks showed.

Developers are also adding more serviced apartment units to mixed-use projects in a bid to attract real estate buyers, underscoring Phuket’s changing consumer landscape. Ten upcoming mixed-use properties are set to have a hotel-residence component, comprising 28 percent of total incoming supply.

“Phuket is gradually transforming to a more urbanised holiday destination rather than a pure beach getaway,” said C9 Hotelworks managing director Bill Barnett in a statement.

Four retail complexes are under development in the island — extensions to Boat Avenue and Central Festival Phuket among them — as demand for “non-beach centric activities” rise, C9 Hotelworks noted in the report.

“With the strong purchasing power of tourists, especially Chinese, Russians and Australians, more retail and tourism attractions are developing on the island.”

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Sivana Dee

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