This positive outlook is in line with the national trend, bucking trends seen in other countries hit by the continued economic uncertainty in much of Europe, which a significant percentage of the tourists come from.
Luxury Villa Rentals Koh Samui island news
Figures suggest that Koh Samui island enjoyed a better July and August, leading to positive expectations for the rest of the year, which industry insiders predict will lead to hotel occupancy levels several points higher than the 67 per cent achieved in the first half of 2012, which in itself was the highest recorded since 2008.
““Samui’s hotel sector has returned to solid ground after a prolonged upward climb over the past three years,” he said.
Barnett explained that there is a stable balance between supply and demand of hotel places at Koh Samui island at present. This is in stark contrast to other Thai resorts such as Phukett where supply outstrips demand.
Total accommodation establishments on Samui were 425 hotels with 15,372 rooms as of Q1 2011, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
There are only three new hotel developments planned for Koh Samui, which would add 371 rooms to the island over the next couple of years, less than 3 per cent.
For the first 6 months of 2012 occupancy rates in Koh Samui was up 8 per cent, according to research carried out by C9 Hotelworks.
In the first half of 2012, 455,778 passengers arrived at Samui airport, 92 per cent from domestic flights. Recent increase in direct international flights signal potential for sustained tourism growth through improved airlift, according to the research.
“Looking forward, the restrained air traffic may be a blessing in disguise to the island, as restricting mass-tourism growth could enhance its natural appeal,” Barnett said.
“While the competitive markets of Phuket and Bali are overrun with skyrocketing numbers, Samui’s positioning is gradually shifting upward to a niche resort destination.”
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