Koh Tao sees record-breaking one-day tourist influx

Picture courtesy of Valeriy Ryasnyanskiy, Unsplash

The island of Koh Tao has seen a record-breaking number of tourists reported to have landed on July 28. The Surat Thani Provincial Governor, Wichuwat Jinto, shared the good news earlier today.

Koh Tao, the smallest of the three main southern gulf islands, welcomed a staggering 3,106 visitors, all of whom arrived via boat on the same day. This influx marked the beginning of a government-mandated six-day holiday, concluding on August 2. This turnout was unprecedented in the island’s history, according to the provincial governor.

Interestingly, foreign tourists made up about 90% of the arrivals, many of whom were likely on their way to Koh Phangan to attend the Full Moon Party. This popular event is scheduled to take place on Haad Rin Beach on August 3, delayed one day for the double Buddha Days where alcohol is forbidden from being served, reported Bangkok Post.

Concurrently, there was a surge in arrivals on Koh Samui, the largest of the three islands. Approximately 141,454 tourists were reported to have used the island’s airport in July.

Projected data for August indicates that this number would see an increase of almost 30,000, translating to a total of 171,834 tourists. These forecasts are made based on the number of hotel bookings. Aside from air travel, an additional influx of visitors was expected to be arriving by ferry or speed boat from the mainland as well as from Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao.

President of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, Ratchaporn Poonsawat, expressed concerns about the shortage of flights available to cater to the overflow of tourists who had already booked a room. This limitation resulted in cancellations.

Ratchaporn announced that the association has approached airlines with requests to boost the daily number of flights to as many as 50 during peak season. If accomplished, these measures would likely inject around five billion baht into the economy of Samui, Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao.

In a previous tourism rush in April, Thailand’s Surat Thani province welcomed more than 90,000 tourists during the Songkran festival period. According to the Surat Thani Governor, Vichawut Jintoe, over 67,000 foreign tourists and 23,000 Thai tourists visited the southern province from April 13 to 16.

South Thailand NewsTourism News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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