Surat Thani tourism rebounds to pre-pandemic levels, Koh Samui flights surge

Koh Samui airport as well as Surat Thani Airport have seen a surge in travellers and flights, nearly returning to pre-pandemic levels. (via Facebook/ Samui Airport)

Thailand’s southern province of Surat Thani is rejoicing at the return of tourism levels reminiscent of the pre-pandemic era, as confirmed by the provincial governor, Wichawut Jinto. The popular holiday island of Koh Samui, arguably the tourism highlight of Surat Thani, has experienced an upsurge in both flight frequencies and tourist footfalls during the month of July, aligning with the figures observed before the Covid-19 outbreak.

Insights from an air traffic report prepared by the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) Company have unveiled that Koh Samui airport has claimed the third spot in terms of flight volume among regional airports for the month of July. Phuket Airport topped the list with a noteworthy 7,264 flights, followed by Chiang Mai Airport with 4,487 flights.

In comparison, Koh Samui Airport hosted a total of 2,268 flights, averaging an impressive 74 flights every day. This onslaught of flights facilitated the transportation of 141,454 passengers to and from this island paradise, famed for its immaculate white sands, luxurious resorts, and the legendary Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan (the next one falls during the week surrounding August 31), a short boat ride away.

On the mainland, the bustling Surat Thani airport catered to 754 flights, facilitating the seamless journey of 114,404 passengers. Collectively, both Surat Thani and Koh Samui airports orchestrated an impressive total of 3,022 flights, providing a safe passage for a staggering 255,858 passengers throughout the month of July.

Governor Wichawut underscored the remarkable significance of these numbers, signifying a resumption of Surat Thani’s tourism sector to levels reminiscent of the period before the Covid-19 global pandemic took hold.

Despite this achievement, he voiced reservations about the existing number of flights, suggesting an increase to 100 flights daily is in order. In a noteworthy development, he revealed that the influx of tourists to Koh Samui has already escalated further to 171,834 during the month of August.

Wichawut further accentuated the enormous potential within Surat Thani’s tourism landscape, attributing it to the presence of two operational airports, a diverse range of land and marine attractions, economical lodging options, an abundant seafood supply, and the genial hospitality extended by the local community.

Corroborating this optimistic trajectory, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reported a remarkable rebound in domestic tourism, reaching an impressive 93% of the levels witnessed in 2019, before the emergence of the Covid pandemic.

Koh Samui NewsSouth Thailand NewsTourism News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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