Connect with us

Koh Samui

Samui’s tender trap – Phuket Property Watch

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Everywhere you turn these days, tourism talk inevitably winds up on the subject of the mass market. It’s not unlike barreling down a dead-end street on a supercharged, high-speed bulldozer. There is no such thing as a damage control button to push. Yes, there will be collateral damage.

Meanwhile back on the broader Thailand train of thought, and particularly in regards to the other island on the opposite side of the isthmus, Samui comes into the picture. We’ve just finished our annual midyear research review of the island’s hotel sector and the results frankly well exceeding our own expectations.

Using market-wide hotel occupancy as a gauge of good health, through the end of June island properties hit 75% occupancy, which is up 7% compared to the same six-month period in 2012. If you look towards the full-year trading figures, the high period that peaks in August is still to come so there is every reason to assume the positive vibes will be sustained.

Naturally the question for those who understand the airlift issues is how are visitors getting to the destination. Unlike Phuket, where low-cost airline carriers and charter flights clog the air bridges, over in “mini-me land”, Bangkok Airways is tourism’s lifeblood.

As in our own skyrocketing storyline here, international direct flights have elevated Samui’s numbers with added services to Hong Kong and Singapore. The introduction of flights from Silk Air was a serious boost to the party and new routes from Kuala Lumpur and Penang has been like a kick in the pants, gaining forward momentum.

Getting inside the numbers, or shall we say crawling between the sheets and getting up close and personal is always a telling exercise. The global shifting sands of travel are impacting virtually every corner of the globe. Two of the island’s legacy tourism markets, namely the UK and Italy are continuing to decline. Did anyone say Euro-crisis?

Moving over to the new players as can be expected both China and Russia are picking up the pace, as is India. Spillover from Malaysia is also rising up due to the direct flight mentioned previously. Yet with all the talk of new things, Germany and Thailand are the top two providers of visitors to paradise. Despite all the talk of cost-conscious Thais not wanting to shell out hard-earned baht on what is deemed to be an expensive airline route, nearly 100,000 domestic travellers came in the first half of this year.

What’s most impressive in the stats though, has been the ability of island hotels to drive up room rates in the upscale and luxury tiers. Despite all the chitchat about quality tourists throughout the Kingdom, clearly there are folks out there that are willing to pay more for more boutique offerings. In this case, less might be better.

Yet looming on the horizon, there remains the specter of larger mega trends as the ratio between individual travellers and groups is tilting to the latter. Likewise a 12% pick up in occupancy for the budget and economy tiers indicate that demand at the lower end is a force to be contended with.

In the great quality versus quantity debate, perhaps the most profound indicator that Samui can sustain its current trajectory is the development pipeline of new properties. This currently stands at only four new hotels and a total of 319 new rooms opening over the next two years. Anyone driving around Bangkok or Phuket is likely to spot new hotels popping up as far as the eye can see. So in terms of supply and demand fundamentals, Samui certainly gets a high five from us.

While it’s not fair to compare apples to oranges or bananas to mangoes, the temptation to comment on Phuket versus Samui is a tender trap. These are, and will always be very different places.

Yes the latter has its own demons in terms of limited road infrastructure, a cap on airlift and increasing infrastructure issues. Yet talk to a growing number of voices overseas in the luxury travel world, and there is a decided twitter about the little island in the gulf.

Bill Barnett is the Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks and can be contacted through C9hotelworks.com.

Keep checking our online
Phuket Property pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter @PhuketGazette for the latest local, national and international property news updates.

— Bill Barnett

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism10 mins ago

US Warns its citizens against traveling to Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 mins ago

Embassy of France in Thailand starts vaccine campaign for French nationals ages 55+

Road deaths48 mins ago

Driver killed after truck crashes from bridge, explodes in Hat Yai

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Bangkok2 hours ago

Bangkok public hospitals run low on beds for Covid-19 patients in critical condition

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Lao woman rejected while trying to register for Covid-19 vaccine

Hong Kong2 hours ago

First person charged under Hong Kong security law goes to trial – without a jury

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Medical researchers look into combining vaccines to beat Delta variant

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 3,174 new cases and 51 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Restrictions eased in yellow zones

Phuket4 hours ago

It’s happening: Phuket sandbox approved by Cabinet

Thailand18 hours ago

Thailand News Today | AoT warns about tourist exuberance, easing of restrictions | June 22

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

CCSA: Bars to stay closed for now, drunk customers risk the spread of Covid-19

Bangkok20 hours ago

Woman dies after jumping from Phra Khanong BTS station in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

263 covid cases linked to canned seafood factory in Songkhla

Drugs20 hours ago

Narcotics Control Board announce recent drug busts, heroin and cocaine sent by mail

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending