Holiday plans cancelled at border district, Koh Samui expects tourist boom

PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

People are cancelling their trips to a Kanchanaburi district for the 4-day weekend after a coronavirus scare at a local school. Koh Samui is expecting the opposite. The southern province Surat Thani is expecting such a large influx in tourists that some airlines and ferries have doubled their services for the holiday.

In Thong Pha Phum, Kanchanaburi’s border district, the mayor says most of the hotel reservations have been cancelled, saying many people started changing their holiday plans after a school in the district had a coronavirus scare.

The district’s Ban Kai Yae School closed after 3 students came in contact with Burmese migrants who developed a fever after they crossed the border into Thailand. The school was cleaned and will open again next week. The recent spike in coronavirus cases in Myanmar has caused many in districts bordering the country to be concerned. Most of the cases are in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, on the country’s western coast.

Other districts in Kanchanburi are still expecting tourists. The Three Pagodas Pass at the Myanmar border is open to visitors. One resort manager in the neighboring district Sangkha Buri said no one had cancelled their booking for the weekend.

It looks like many people are going south. The Surat Thani province, which includes the popular islands Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, is expected to have 27,000 visitors this weekend, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The tourists are expected to spend around 124 million baht during the holiday, with a large portion spent on accommodation, according to TAT’s office director Nanthawan Siriphokhapat.

“The We Travel Together campaign of the government that includes discounts on hotel accommodation and air tickets to Koh Samui are a factor encouraging travel.”

Both Bangkok Airways and local ferry operators have doubled their services for the holiday weekend, according to the president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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