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Koh Samui

Koh Phangan and Koh Tao try to shake off monthly boom and bust

Bill Barnett

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Koh Phangan and Koh Tao try to shake off monthly boom and bust | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett

Thailand’s idyllic Koh Phangan island is renowned globally for its marque Full Moon parties. On the heels of soaring demand for the big event, visitor numbers surpassed the one million ceiling two years ago and over a five-year period registered compound annual growth rate of 17%.

While the numbers are impressive, the reality for resorts on the ground is one of disruptive trading. Accommodation establishments are continually being forced to deal with high occupancy that often surpasses 80% in peak periods but rapidly falls off as soon as the Full Moon event tapers off each month.

According to C9 Hotelworks newly released Koh Pha-Ngan and Koh Tao Hotel Market Update, the two islands have over 13,000 rooms and supply growth is rising at 10%. As the destination matures, the key challenge is how to diversify its market segments in order to avoid being a one-trick pony.

On tourism trends to the islands, most other Thai resort areas that are being immersed in Asia-centric mass numbers, but demand to the two islands in the Gulf of Thailand is focused on long-haul visitors from Europe, Australia and North America.

The main challenge to avoid big event syndrome and a mono market, is the dependence on nearby Koh Samui’s private gateway airport which has is experiencing challenging conditions due to high airfares and a broader lack of airline diversity servicing the sector. At the end of the day, you can’t stay there, if you can’t get there.

Aside from the numbers, C9’s research indicated that a growing number of resort owners and developers were looking at moving past the legacy segments of Full Moon Parties and diving, and tapping into wellness offerings and family-focused tourists. Despite the Koh Samui connection, nearby Surat Thani airport on the mainland is becoming a secondary point of transit to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

Summing up the boom bust boom impact of the Full Moon, the reality is Thailand’s smaller resort islands are grappling with the issue of mass tourism and reality of the current tourism demand that remains seasonable and disruptive.



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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Koh Samui. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements and is continually gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

Koh Samui

German hotelier claims he paid 800,000 baht bribe to operate his unlicensed villa on Samui

The Thaiger

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German hotelier claims he paid 800,000 baht bribe to operate his unlicensed villa on Samui | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Channel 7

A German man has told investigators yesterday that he paid ‘some Thais’ 800,850 baht after they threatened to shut down his luxury villa during construction. 47 year old Ulrich Schmidt claims he was visited during the construction phase of his Best World Vision Villas project and he paid the ‘tea money’ in the belief it would allow him to operate his business unhindered.

Channel 7 reports that since then he has been renting out rooms and operating the villa as a hotel. But the Samui Hoteliers’ Association says the villa has been operating illegally as a hotel without a license and taking business away from legitimate Thai operators. Authorities from Region 4 went to the property on Chaweng Noi Hill in Bophut, and other allegedly illegal villas in the same area, this week.

Read The Thaiger story HERE.

The German owner was unable to produce a license, building permit or guest registration books and has since been charged with not having a license to operate a hotel, illegal work practices and not reporting foreign guests within 24 hours.

Mr. Schmidt has been invited to make a formal complaint with evidence of transfer of the alleged 800,850 payment and top whom it was paid.

SOURCE: CH7

German hotelier claims he paid 800,000 baht bribe to operate his unlicensed villa on Samui | News by The Thaiger

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Koh Samui

Boat carrying a Bangkok school group sinks at Koh Tao pier

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Boat carrying a Bangkok school group sinks at Koh Tao pier | The Thaiger

A boat carrying up to 40 schoolchildren has sunk after hitting underwater rocks next to a pier in Koh Tao last Monday. Koh Tao is a popular diving destination island in the Gulf of Thailand, north of Koh Samui.

The vessel “Mattha” was carrying around 50 people, including the group from a school in Bangkok on a snorkelling day trip  around the nearby islands. But when the boat returned later in the day, the tide was out and it hit rocks around the Songserm Pier on Koh Tao.

The rocks punctured a hole in the boat causing it to start sinking. Around 50 people including pupils, teachers and the boat’s crew fled as the boat started sinking and lurching to startboard .

The vessel was operated by Siam Catamaran Tours.

A police source said the children were ”very fortunate” to get off the boat without injury.

”They were lucky that they were at the pier and they got off quickly. Boats should all have systems to detect the depth of the water so questions need to be asked about why the boat sank in what is a busy pier used every day.”

SOURCE: Viral Press

Boat carrying a Bangkok school group sinks at Koh Tao pier | News by The Thaiger

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Koh Samui

Raid on 18 foreign-owned Koh Samui hotels, owners arrested

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Raid on 18 foreign-owned Koh Samui hotels, owners arrested | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

Army, police and municipal officials have raided 18 hotels on Koh Samui claiming that they are illegally owned by foreigners. The hotels in questions are on a mountainside on the Gulf island, the second largest island in Thailand.

Officials carried out the search and raids on Chaweng Noi Mountain in Moo 6 village in Tambon Bophut  and found that 18 luxury mansions had been modified as hotels to cater to foreign tourists.

None of the 18 hotels were licensed and all are co-owned by businessmen from several countries, according to officials, including the UK, Germany, France, Russia, Belgium, Israel and Austria. Officials said the foreigners used Thais as nominees by stating their names as co-owners.

The inspection was carried out following complaints from licensed hotels that they had seen a large decrease in patrons after the new hotels began operating. Hoteliers said the new hotels had an unfair advantage because they were not paying the same taxes, or operating under the sale rules, as the licensed hotels.

Officials found the 18 hotels had proper land deeds but had not been registered as hotels.

Bophut police station took legal action against foreign executives of the four companies that were operating four of the 18 hotels. They have been charged with operating without a hotel license and working in a business – food and beverage – that is reserved for Thais.

Police said they will summon executives of the remaining 14 hotels to face charges. The executives are all living abroad.

SOURCE: The Nation

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