PHUKET: Officials expect the number of Chinese tourists coming to Phuket to drop by 40 per cent this month, despite the fact that Chinese New Year falls on January 31.

Chinese New Year traditionally brings a boost in Chinese tourism to Thailand, but this year fewer tourists from Greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, are expected to celebrate the holiday in the Kingdom.

Piyaman Tejapaiboon, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), said that the political turmoil in Thailand poses risks to the tourism market, which is still in the high season.