Tourism to Thailand’s Koh Kradan jumps sixfold after winning title as best beach on earth

Photo via BangkokBizNews

Thailand’s Koh Kradan island in Trang province is welcoming more than 2000 tourists per day since the island was voted ‘best beach on earth‘ by the UK website World Beach Guide last month, according to Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

“After Koh Kradan was ranked the best beach on earth, the number of tourists has jumped to 2000 per day, a sixfold increase from the previous average of 300 visitors per day.”

The island is home to only seven accommodations, totalling 168 rooms, including the Seven Seas Resort, Mali Resort, Reef Resort, Koh Kradan Beach Resort, Ao-nieng Beach Resort, Kalume Resort, and Paradise Lost Bungalows. During the Songkran holidays, all rooms on the island were fully booked, said the minister.

“The Ministry of Tourism has to discuss with the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Resources about how to prepare Koh Kradan as an eco-tourism destination and ensure that nature is not damaged since the island has become famous and is attracting tourists from all over the world. The tourism sector must be prepared to deal with this to avoid congestion and prevent the island from deteriorating.

“Most of the tourists who visit Koh Kradan are foreign, 60% are from Scandinavian and European countries and stay for three to five nights. The remaining 40% are Thai tourists.”

Four other Thai beaches made the top 100 including Railay Beach in Krabi province (9), Freedom Beach in Phuket (18), Laem Beach on Koh Yao Yai island in Phang Nga province (21) and Tanot Bay Beach on Koh Tao island in Surat Thani province (44).

Koh Kradan is arguably the most picturesque of the 40 Trang Islands lying off Thailand’s Andaman Coast and comes without the hustle and bustle of popular tourist destinations like Koh Phi Phi or Phuket.

Unlike the nearby Koh Muk island, Koh Kradang has no village or local life. There are only small resorts and a minimart, and the rest of the island is part of Hat Chao Mai National Park.

If tourism exceeds the island’s capacity, the government will have to limit the number of tourists allowed each day, a tactic long implemented at Thailand’s famous Maya Bay since it was made famous through the film The Beach (2000) starring Leonard DiCaprio.

Thailand’s tourism officials are happy to close off islands to tourists for extended periods to allow environmental restoration. For example, Thailand’s Similan Islands were bustling with tourists during the Songkran holidays but will soon be much quieter when the archipelago closes for a period of environmental restoration on May 19.

The marine park will be closed off to tourists during the monsoon season and will reopen again on October 15, 2023, after nature has had a chance to recover from a hectic High Season.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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