Tourism in South Thailand province jumped by over 600% last year, officials say

Surat Thani tourists, photo by The Phuket Express.

South Thailand’s picturesque beaches and islands continue to reel in tourists.

The number of tourists that visited South Thailand’s Surat Thani province last year jumped by over 600% from 2021, according to officials. The province includes the holiday paradise islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

Surat Thani Governor Witchawut Jintoe, citing the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, said the province saw 3,690,642 tourists last year, a 666% increase from the previous year. Witchawut said there was a tourism revenue of 27.66 billion baht in Surat Thani last year, a 912.04% jump from 2021, The Phuket Express reported. Witchawut said…

“These numbers have shown that Surat Thani Province’s tourism revenue growth is the highest in Thailand.”

The tourism sector in Surat Thani has been boosted by several initiatives to attract visitors, including the development of infrastructure and facilities.

Last month, officials started giving Koh Samui’s Fisherman’s Village a makeover to help businesses catch more tourists. They started sprucing up Beach Road in Bo Phut with landscape improvements, and general cleaning. The goal of the makeover is to reel in up to 5 million baht of cash for local street vendors. Tourism operators hope to bring out the old charm of Beach Road by presenting an authentic fishing village lifestyle in a clean setting.

Also last month, Koh Samui welcomed its first Taiwanese tour group in nearly three years to enjoy the island’s nature tourism, as well as its temples and shrines. The group of 142 tourists planned to travel to Koh Ang Thong, Koh Tao, and Koh Nang Yuan for four days.

Surat Thani also has had some conservation tourism initiatives.

On Saturday, tourists kayaked off the Ang Thong islands to gaze upon Bryde’s whales for Whale Conservation Day.

Koh Samui is home to some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches, such as Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach, and Bophut Beach, which offer tourists a range of activities, from water sports to cultural experiences. Scenic spots like these continue to reel tourists into Surat Thani.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.