Koh Samui booms as over 200,000 tourists visit the popular island in January

The picturesque island of Koh Samui in Surat Thani province, Thailand, has seen a remarkable turnaround to its economy in the first month of 2023 with over 200,000 tourists visiting in January alone. After a year of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the arrival of over 200,000 tourists has been a welcome sight for the island’s local economy.

The governor of Surat Thani, Wichawut Jinto, was delighted with the figures.

“Tourism was given a boost and this enables entrepreneurs to recover faster. Tourist arrivals help generate income [for] communities. This is a good start for the tourism sector at the beginning of the year.

“This also shows that attractions in Surat Thani have high potential and remain top choices for tourists.”

Koh Samui, along with other tourist attractions in the province such as Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Tao, Ratchaprapa Dam reservoir, and Khao Sok National Park, has seen an increase in foreign tourists in January.

With the boost in tourism and the local economy beginning to recover, it is hoped that this trend will continue throughout 2023, giving the island and its people much-needed help after a difficult year.

Interesting Stats

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in Thailand, the number of visitors to Koh Samui in 2020 was down nearly 50% compared to the previous year. Interestingly, the number of those visiting the island in January 2021 was still higher than in 2019, with more than 200,000 tourists visiting the island in the first month of the year.

In 2020, the majority of visitors to Koh Samui were from China (51%) followed by Russia (14%), the UK (7%), and Germany (5%). The number of domestic tourists from Thailand was also high, accounting for 42% of the total number of visitors.

The average length of stay for tourists in Koh Samui is around seven days, and the average daily expenditure is around 1,843 baht (US$58). The average hotel occupancy rate in Koh Samui is around 80%, and the average room rate per night is 2,917 baht (US$93).

In terms of the type of accommodations, the majority of tourists stay in hotels (45%), followed by resorts (25%), villas (19%), and guesthouses (11%). The majority of tourists travelling to Koh Samui are leisure tourists (79%), while 21% are business travellers.

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