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Krabi hotels pin hopes on Phuket sandbox success



PHOTO: Flickr/Star Tour

Hotel operators in the southern province of Krabi will be watching Phuket’s imminent re-opening with great interest. The success of the Phuket “sandbox” will determine what happens in Thailand’s other tourism hotspots. According to the Bangkok Post, a successful re-opening for Phuket would mean Krabi and other destinations can look forward to re-opening their hotels and recruiting workers for the high season.

Wichupan Srisanya from the Krabi Hotel Association says her members will be watching carefully to see what happens in Phuket, before making any operational decisions. Out of 848 registered hotels in Krabi, only 10% are currently operating, with occupancy floundering in single digits.

She says the PM’s plan to re-open Thailand in 120 days is encouraging, but tourism operators need more information and clarity on the detail. She adds that, even if complications arise that threaten the re-opening, the government should push ahead, handling each problem as it arises, instead of shutting down the whole plan.

The vaccine rollout remains a top priority for major tourism destinations in Krabi, such as Koh Phi Phi, Railay, Koh Lanta, Ao Nang, and several others. Wichupan says she’s confident if the October re-opening goes ahead, Krabi hotels will be ready, in particular on Koh Lanta, where hotels are already taking bookings for January and February from repeat Scandinavian guests.

According to Bill Barnett from C9 Hotelworks, Koh Lanta, and Krabi in general, has long been a popular getaway for so-called “snowbirds” from countries like Sweden and Norway.

“Krabi has a strong legacy market with loyal guests from Scandinavian nations – where vaccination rates are high – who visit Thailand annually during winter.”

A recent C9 Hotelworks report on the hotel market in Krabi shows that 5 international chains will set up shop in the province from next year, offering 1,096 rooms between them. They are the Hilton, Holiday Inn Express, Movenpick, Novotel and Club Med.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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