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City Brief - Phuket, Thailand

Authors: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET-International); Thailand Environment Institute (TEI); Vietnam National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies (NISTPASS)

A renowned tourist destination along Thailand’s Andaman Coast, Phuket attracts visitors from all over the world. Led by the tourism sector, the province boasts the second-highest GDP in Thailand after Bangkok. Recent years have seen rapid increases in tourist visits—with visitor numbers rising from two and half million in 2009 to over nine million just four years later, with projections for fifteen million visitors in 2015. Alongside this expansion of the tourist industry, urban development has occurred throughout the island. Yet, despite the many positive economic benefits, this development and growth in the urban area has exacerbated existing pressures and created new vulnerabilities, particularly relating to land use, water management, flooding, transport and waste management. Climate change also threatens the island, with Phuket’s coastal location and reliance on the local ecosystem for key services highlighting vulnerability to climate change. Recognizing the importance of resilient and sustainable development to the future of the island, Phuket has been working with the Mekong–Building Climate Resilience in Asian Cities (M-BRACE) initiative to understand the impacts of urbanization and climate change, focusing on interactions between land use change and water resource management, in order to chart a path towards more resilient development.


Citation: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International, Thailand Environment Institute, Vietnam National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies. (2014). Phuket, Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International.

Funded by: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)