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Direct flights, luxury hotel brands and wellness push Samui performance

Bill Barnett

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Direct flights, luxury hotel brands and wellness push Samui performance | The Thaiger
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While most of Thailand’s resort markets struggle with an onslaught of mass tourism, Koh Samui has remained a ‘calm in the middle of a gathering storm’ in the numbers driven industry.

While low-cost airlines have tapped into Asia’s soaring consumer class in most destinations, creating dizzying growth numbers, the island’s privately-owned airport has allowed for poised and sustained development over the past five years.

According to a new report from consulting group C9 Hotelworks, international passenger arrivals at Koh Samui’s airport over five years, doubled in 2016. Last year it rose another 15% over the previous year.

Two factors that come into play in the airlift storyline is Bangkok Airways’ proliferation of code-share agreements along multiplication of more regional direct routes.

Direct flights, luxury hotel brands and wellness push Samui performance | News by The Thaiger

Assessing the domino effect on hotel performance according to leading hospitality data provider STR is that the past three years has shown a defined uptick in Koh Samui’s hotel performance.

Speaking of data, in numbers from the Thai Hotels Association (THA) reflect a market-wide RevPAR increase as of the end of June of 7%, comparing year-on-year figures.

Speaking about the upscale boutique nature of destination tourism, C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said ”the island’s appeal to upscale travellers stems from both intrinsic barefoot luxury that is complemented by global brands such as Four Seasons, W, Conrad, InterContinental and the recently opened Ritz-Carlton, but also a rising tide of wellness focused resorts.

“According to our market research, wellness properties such as Kamalaya, Samahita and Vikasa attract year-round visitors, have strong appeal overseas, at in fact trade far less seasonally than many of the legacy properties. Not only is occupancy a strong point but a longer average length of stay, loyalty in terms of returning guests and direct booking are key attributes.”

Direct flights, luxury hotel brands and wellness push Samui performance | News by The Thaiger

Looking ahead, C9’s research points out the growing influence of Mainland China which is linked to Bangkok Airways plan to expand airlift to that region. This trend can be seen in airport international passenger arrivals that by the end of June this year saw Chinese grow by 58%. Though, taking a step back, one of the traditional geographic source markets Germany also saw a year-on-year spike of 35% for the same period. At the end of the day, airlift, a strong brand offering and developing wellness sector bode well for a sustainable growth profile for Koh Samui.

Direct flights, luxury hotel brands and wellness push Samui performance | News by The Thaiger

To download and read the entire report, click HERE.

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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.

Tourism

Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry

Maya Taylor

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Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry | The Thaiger

Leading Thai academics are calling on the government to get a move on and help the tourism industry before it’s too late. Addressing a gathering arranged by the Foundation for Labour and Employment Promotion, Kiriya Kulkolkran from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Economics, pointed to the 80% drop in international tourism as a result of the Covid-19 fallout. His estimate includes the first few months of the year when there was actually a functional tourism industry in Thailand.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Kiriya says just 4% of businesses in the tourism sector say they’ve made the same amount or more than they did before Covid-19. She adds that a survey shows employees in the industry are concerned about debt accumulation and “extremely worried about the future”.

Bovorn Subsing, from Chulalongkorn University’s Social Research Institute, has backed up the comments, saying tourism workers have seen their wages drop by 60%, while still facing the same, or higher, cost of living. The result is that most are now in debt.

Kiriya predicts the devastation could continue for over 3 years, affecting not just tourism operators but the entire supply chain, as well as new graduates and those seeking their first job. She says that until the sector recovers, the government needs to provide tailored help for businesses, singling out Phuket hotels, who are struggling to survive without foreign guests.

The islands of Phuket and Samui, plus the other ‘tourist’ islands around Thailand, are facing a particular problem as they’re mostly geared for the international tourist market. Domestic tourism, rebooted last July when the local airlines were permitted to fly again, has mostly shunned the popular tourist islands.

One worker at a Phuket hotel, 52 year old Anchisa Sirinanthasak, addressed the forum in support of a possible co-payment scheme for hotel workers. It’s understood most hotel operators are paying employees 62-75% of their normal salary, which works out at around 8,000-9,000 baht per person and is not enough to cover their costs.

Meanwhile, Manop Kaewphaka from Homenet Thailand, a non-profit that protects home-based workers, has called on the government to allow foreign tourists back into the Kingdom and to provide more support for informal workers, in the form of wage guarantees and co-payment.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Visa

Foreigners report alleged visa scam in Koh Samui

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreigners report alleged visa scam in Koh Samui | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77kaoded

A Thai woman in Koh Samui allegedly ripped off at least 8 foreigners by offering visa extension services and taking off with the money. A group of foreigners reported the scam to officers at the Bo Phut police station, saying they placed deposits ranging from 10,000 baht to even 100,000 baht, but the services were never fulfilled.

A man posted a video on Facebook warning people about the alleged scam and saying he believes the woman stole around 10 million baht. A Thai TV news report shows a J&R Accounting business card for “Joy” which advertises accounting and work permit services.

“Be careful with your visa… There are a lot of people that just want your money and they don’t give the service.”

Apparently, some of the foreigners paid a deposit 6 months ago. They say Joy kept reassuring them that their applications processing. Now that visa amnesty is up, the foreigners worry about potential problems with immigration, Thai media reports.

Police told Thai media that this isn’t the first time they’ve heard of Joy. They issued a summons for her in the past. If she does not respond to the second summons, the police may go to court and request a warrant for her arrest.

A little over a week ago, at the neighbouring island Koh Pha Ngan, a language school allegedly ripped off more than 100 foreigners, claiming they were able to issue them with a 1 year education visa.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Tourism

Phuket & Koh Samui face financial ruin in the short to medium term – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Phuket & Koh Samui face financial ruin in the short to medium term – VIDEO | The Thaiger

Phuket and Samui are both islands, fed mostly by arrivals at their international airports. Of course, both remain closed and the islands are trying to survive on a dribble of domestic tourists. And there’s no sign of hope any time soon for the future. Bill Barnett is ‘Mr Hotel & Hospitality’ for Thailand and the region. What does he see as the short and long term solutions? Your comments are also welcome, below. You can also watch our stark report about how empty Phuket actually is HERE.

Bill is the MD and leading consultant forc9hotelworks.com

 

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