Proposal to develop Koh Tao, Samui, and Koh Phang Ngan as “entertainment islands”

PHOTO: Valeriy Ryasnyanskiy on Unsplash

Another day, another idea, as Thailand desperately tries to revive its decimated tourism sector and by extension, the economy. While things are looking up since entry restrictions were eased, suggestions for further improvement continue to circulate. One such proposal is to develop and market 3 islands in the Gulf of Thailand as an “entertainment cluster”.

Tourism operators on Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phang Ngan are on board with the idea of developing the islands into a world-class entertainment destination. The proposal comes as international arrivals are on the increase, thanks to the cancellation of the Test & Go entry scheme. Tourism businesses on the islands have welcomed the increase in numbers and the reprieve for the local economy, after 2 years of devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bangkok Post reports that the idea of promoting the 3 islands as an entertainment cluster was first suggested by a newspaper columnist, with local tourism operators quick to get on board. Nothing can happen however, without government approval, as well as the cooperation of the private sector.

Those in favour of the proposal say that the re-opening of nightlife from today means the islands can be marketed for their entertainment offering, with bars, clubs, and similar venues back in business – albeit still having to shut by midnight. Thanapon Uthaiwannaporn from the Combo Beach Hotel Samui says the island desperately needs help to revive its economy and the concept of an island entertainment cluster is unique and rarely seen elsewhere.

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As Thailand struggles to revive its Covid-battered economy, numerous suggestions have been put forward for how best to market its tourist destinations. In the past, ideas have included golf quarantine packages, medical tourism hubs, wellness retreats, not to forget superyacht hubs and health minister Anutin Charnvirakul’s idea of a world-class medical marijuana hub.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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