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Phuket Plans Major Transport Overhaul to Boost Tourism

The government has unveiled an ambitious plan to revamp transportation infrastructure in Phuket, aiming to transform the island into a premier tourist destination and a crucial regional gateway in southern Thailand. The initiative includes several major projects intended to enhance connectivity and alleviate traffic congestion.

Government Spokesperson Chai Wacharonke announced that a new monorail system, connecting Phuket International Airport with Phuket Town, is a central feature of the strategy to improve transportation across multiple modes. This plan is part of a broader effort to upgrade the island’s infrastructure to better serve tourists and residents alike.

In the short term, the Department of Highways will address traffic congestion on Highway 402 by installing smart traffic signals, designating no-parking zones, and eliminating U-turns in congested areas. By 2026, the medium-term goal is to widen Highway 4027 to four lanes to ease traffic flow and reduce bottlenecks.

Long-term projects include the construction of an expressway linking Patong Beach with Phuket Airport, projected to be operational by 2030. Additionally, the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand is conducting a feasibility study for a 41.7-kilometer light rail system. This project is expected to begin in 2028 and be completed by 2031, further enhancing the island’s public transportation network.

To support the growing cruise tourism industry in the Andaman Sea, a feasibility study for a deep-sea port is underway. The Airports of Thailand have also been directed to plan for seaplane services between Phuket Airport and nearby islands, aiming to improve the overall tourist experience.

Officials and stakeholders from various sectors have expressed support for these initiatives, highlighting their potential to significantly boost Phuket’s appeal as a top-tier tourist destination and an important regional hub.

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